SINGAPORE: Closed-circuit television cameras will be mandatory at all preschools and government-funded early intervention centres from Jul 1 next year, and parents will be given access to footage to assist with the investigation of “serious incidents”.
The move follows a regular review of security and safety measures in the early childhood sector, the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) said on Thursday (Aug 31).
The agency said it has been engaging the preschool sector since last year and it informed operators in February this year of plans to make CCTVs compulsory. This decision also took the views of parents, educators and preschool operators into consideration, it added.
“Parents’ access to CCTV footage will only be granted for the purposes of providing an objective reference point to clarify feedback or to assist the investigation of serious incidents within the preschool premises. The request should be within reasonable grounds,” said the agency.
From Jul 1, 2024, CCTV cameras will be required in key access points and areas used by children such as classrooms, activity rooms, play areas within the premises and infant napping rooms.
To ensure the privacy of employees and children, CCTV cameras will not be allowed in toilets, changing rooms and staff rest areas.
The agency will share a set of guidelines with preschool operators on Friday.
More than 60 per cent of preschools and all early intervention centres have already installed CCTV cameras on their premises.
“CCTV cameras will enhance the security of the preschool by deterring suspicious or unauthorised persons from entering the premises,” said ECDA.
“In the event of incidents, CCTV footage can be an objective and reliable source of evidence to support the investigation.
“The implementation of CCTV cameras will complement existing measures to provide a safe and secure environment in our preschools so parents and educators will have a greater peace of mind.”
Preschools that have yet to install such cameras told ECDA that they required time to make the necessary arrangements.
This includes putting in place clear policies and proper protocols to access the footage.
The agency said it will work closely with operators to ensure their CCTV system and cameras are installed properly and used appropriately to protect the privacy of children, staff members and other people within preschool premises.