Kinderland Woodlands Mart Operator Fined S$5,000, Licence Tenure Reduced By ECDA

ECDA Fines Kinderland Woodlands Operator S$5,000 After Incidents Of Abuse

In a press release on Monday (4 Sep), the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) said the operator of Kinderland Preschool @ Woodlands Mart has been fined S$5,000 after recent incidents.

It will also have its licence tenure reduced to six months.

If the preschool fails to “demonstrate significant improvement” in standards of care, its licence won’t be renewed.

ECDA also admitted a lapse in case-handling protocols when it received reports of “Educator A” allegedly force-feeding and hitting a child.

Kinderland Woodlands operator fined S$5,000

33-year-old Kinderland Woodlands teacher Lin Min was seen in multiple videos allegedly abusing children.

Woodlands Preschool Teacher Shown Allegedly Rough Handling Kids, Police Investigations Ongoing

She was issued a warning under ECDA regulations and is not allowed to work in the preschool sector.

Another educator at the preschool also used “inappropriate methods” to restrict the movement of a three-year-old child on two occasions, ECDA said.

According to ECDA, the centre’s principal didn’t supervise her staff adequately.

She also “failed to prevent the use of inappropriate child management methods in the preschool”.

As such, she has been removed from her post and can no longer be deployed as a principal at a preschool.

Kinderland Woodlands Mart Principal Removed From Post During Abuse Investigation, Redeployed To Other Roles

ECDA will consider her suitability as a principal after she completes refresher training and after two years.

Due to the severity of the incidents, ECDA issued a warning, fined the operator S$5,000, and reduced its licence tenure to 6 months with immediate effect.

“At the end of 6 months, ECDA will not renew the licence if the preschool fails to demonstrate significant improvements in its standard of care to their children,” ECDA noted.

ECDA CEO apologises for lapse in case handling procedures

ECDA chief executive officer Tan Chee Wee also apologised and acknowledged a lapse in not immediately removing the teacher while investigations were ongoing.

“We will strengthen our protocols and training of our officers,” he said.

ECDA explained that when the “Educator A” case was reported, they took timely action and commenced investigations by the next working day.

However, the investigation officer did not immediately remove the staff from classroom duties, in breach of “established protocol” for cases “with clear evidence that child safety is endangered”.

“ECDA acknowledges this lapse in its case handling procedures,” the press release noted.

“We are reviewing our systems and procedures to strengthen this protocol and ensure better oversight of cases under investigation.”

2 cases at Sunshine Place centre under investigation

ECDA gave updates on two other reports made at Kinderland @ Sunshine Place in Choa Chu Kang.

In one case, “Educator C” was seen “forcefully pushing” a five-year-old child in April last year.

Police and ECDA investigations are ongoing on that case.

As for the second report, two educators admitted to strapping a two-year-old child in his chair on “several occasions”. The straps came from infant seats.

“The educators’ intent was to get the child to focus on the activity and prevent him from hurting himself and other children,” said ECDA.

ECDA issued stern reminders to the school and the two educators.

ECDA said it had asked the centre to immediately stop the practice, ensure all educators adopt “appropriate methods”, and work closely with parents to manage each child’s behaviour.

It’ll take more severe action if similar incidents happen in future.

Independent review ordered

ECDA added that it had asked Kinderland’s headquarters to conduct an independent review of child management practices in all their preschools, given the recent incidents of child mismanagement.

Kinderland has to report back with its findings and recommendations within three months.

“During this period, ECDA will also place all preschools under Kinderland on close monitoring and conduct more frequent unannounced checks on their classroom management practices,” it said.

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