SINGAPORE: The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) has launched a probe into two separate incidents at PCF Sparkletots @ Nee Soon Link Block 446 after a toddler returned home with a bruise on his right ear earlier this month.
The preschool operator told CNA on Tuesday (Jan 16) that it was first alerted of the 22-month-old child’s injury by his parents on Jan 8.
An investigation was immediately launched and ECDA was notified on the same day. A meeting was set up with the parents on Jan 9, during which they were shown closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage, PCF Sparkletots added.
ECDA told CNA that it understands the “preschool operator engaged the child’s parents on Jan 9 and showed them the CCTV footage for the incident on Jan 4”.
In response to queries, the agency also said it had reviewed CCTV footage from Jan 2 to Jan 5 when the child was present at school.
In the first incident on Jan 3, the agency said he was “repeatedly attempting to climb onto a low window grille and the educator pushed him away from the window”.
“The child fell on his bottom on the play mat and rolled over sideways onto his back.”
In the second incident a day later, “the child was seated on a low chair, lost his balance and fell backwards onto the floor”.
On the bruise on the toddler’s right ear, ECDA said that based on its preliminary findings, the injury “could have occurred on Jan 4, when the child lost his balance and fell off a low chair”.
The agency added it is “looking into the educator’s inappropriate method used on Jan 3, when preventing the child from climbing onto the window grille” and that investigations are ongoing.
SAFETY OF CHILDREN IS OF “UTMOST IMPORTANCE”
“The safety and well-being of children in preschools is of utmost importance,” said ECDA.
“While incidents involving children may sometimes occur despite the preschool’s best efforts, ECDA takes a serious view towards all cases of child mismanagement. Actions will be taken against the preschool operator and staff if our findings support the allegation.”
The preschool operator said it “noted” ECDA’s ongoing investigation, and “will work closely and cooperate with them fully.”
“At PCF Sparkletots, the health, safety, and well-being of our children remains our top priority, and we’re fully committed to cooperating with the parents and the authorities.”