Update on Feb 23, 10.20am: ECDA has cleared the childcare centre of allegations of abuse, more details here.
*Update on Feb 17, 5.30pm: We have updated the story below*
According to Channel 8 News, a childcare centre in River Valley Road is suspected of undesirable practices.
Photographs of the suspected abuse has gone viral on Chinese-messaging app Weixin depicting children sleeping on the floor without mattresses and a child covered in faeces sleeping in a cot.
Children were also seen sitting on the floor and using chairs as tables for their assignments.
The photographs first appeared on a website 起點 (Traditional Chinese for “Starting Point”).
The childcare centre is called “Sam’s First Learning Centre”.
The website also featured a text message that accompanied the photographs.
The message said that aside from sleeping on the floor and eating rotten fruits, milk powder which children brought from home were thrown away because someone forgot to give it to the children.
The message also mentioned that nobody cleared up the faeces (on the bed) and the child allegedly ate the faeces.
Channel 8 News reported that they have approached the childcare centre and was told by a person at the centre that internal investigations were ongoing. The person at the centre said that the authorities are also investigating the matter.
The childcare centre declined to comment on the matter and did not let Channel 8 News into the premises when they requested to.
*Update on Feb 17, 5.30pm: According to Channel 8 News, in an audio recording believed to be taken during a conversation between a parent and the childcare centre’s principal, the principal acknowledged that the photographs were that of the childcare centre.
The principal believed that the photographs were taken by an employee who had quit two days ago.
The principal explained that when fruits were left aside for some time, parts of it would start to rot. However, the principal said that before the fruit was given to the children, the rotten parts would be cut away and not given to them.
The principal also said that the photograph of children lying down on the floor was depicting them doing stretching exercises, and not of them sleeping. The principal said that K1 and K2 pupils did not sleep at the childcare and therefore there was no other reason for them to lie on the floor.
The principal explained that there was a male student who would always take his diapers off after moving his bowels, and teachers would need to wash him up. To prevent him from mixing with the other children when this happens, the childcare would separate him from the other children using the cot.*
The Early Childhood Development Agency said they are investigating the case.