Kinderland @ Woodlands Mart operator fined S$5,000, licence reduced to 6 months with immediate effect: ECDA

ECDA also cancelled their approval for her to be deployed as a principal, and she has been issued a warning.

Winnie Li | September 04, 2023, 05:33 PM



The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) had issued a warning, imposed a penalty of S$5,000 on the operator behind Kinderland @ Woodlands Mart, and reduced its licence tenure to six months with immediate effect, announced ECDA in a press release on Sep. 4, 2023.

At the end of the six months, ECDA will not renew the licence if the preschool fails to demonstrate "significant improvements" in its standard of care to their children, the agency added.

Educator force-feeding & hitting child under police investigation

ECDA's announcement came approximately a month after it was alerted by a whistleblower of an alleged case of child abuse involving a 2-year-old student.

The whistleblower reported the incident on Aug. 8, 2023, and provided video evidence two days later, said ECDA.

According to ECDA, the video clip revealed a breach of the Early Childhood Development Centres (ECDC) regulations, which prohibits, among other things, force-feeding and hitting a child.

The educator involved, Lin Min, who was charged in court on Aug. 20, has been issued a warning under the ECDC regulations and barred from working in the preschool sector.

Lin is also currently under police investigation for offences under the Children and Young Persons Act based on the reports received by the Singapore Police Force, revealed ECDA.

Another educator found restricting child inappropriately

ECDA investigations also established that another educator at the preschool, identified as "B", had used inappropriate methods to restrict the movement of a three-year-old child under her charge on two occasions.

On the first occasion, B pulled the child's shirt over the back of a chair.

On the second occasion, she secured him to a chair using straps from an infant chair.

Like Lin, ECDA has issued a warning to B and required her to be placed under close supervision for three months and to attend refresher training on child management strategies, said the agency.

Principal also given a warning

As for the principal, ECDA's investigations showed that she did not exercise adequate supervision over her staff in their management of children, according to the press release.

Hence, she has failed to prevent the use of inappropriate child management methods in the preschool.

Given the above, ECDA has cancelled its approval for her to be deployed as a principal in a preschool.

She has also been issued a warning and will be required to attend refresher training on child management strategies.

ECDA will consider her suitability as a principal after she has completed refresher training and after a period of two years, the agency added.

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