Improving transparency & regulation of childcare centers, playgroups and kindergartens in Singapore
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Petition to Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA)
Follow-up on the recent suspected child mishandling case at MFS Toa Payoh, we are a group of concerned parents on how current Singapore preschools and childcares are being regulated.
We do understand this might be an isolated case; or on the contrary, one of many cases which gone unnoticed. We are trying to request authorities here to regulate preschools (playgrounds and kindergartens) as well as childcare centers with better transparency to foster better school-parents relationship. At the same time encouraging parents to be more involved in their children's development.
Authorities should understand that preschool children are generally weak in communication to express themselves clearly. They are helpless against physical or verbal abuse. It is also their shaping years that each kid has different reactions and unique needs in preschools environments. By having more open environments and communications, parents may make better judgement and decisions for their children, either helping their children in adjusting, correction wrong behaviors or in selecting right environment for them.
Our suggestions are: -
1. Impose that CCTV to be installed in all above mentioned compounds. Online real-time streaming is available for related parents to view, or a dedicated viewing room within the school is available for related parents to freely access & to view in the schools (if privacy is a concern) to understand children performance and behaviors at schools.
2. Make teachers and staff professional profiles of preschools public. Useful information include years of experience, qualification., etc. Publish this information timely instead of yearly.
3. Make teachers to students ratio smaller and publicize this information timely instead of yearly.
4. All nursery levels teachers should be trained in child psychology, especially in the areas of handling different children; including special needs children or gifted children. Early identification and feedback of these children from preschools will greatly help parents to make informed decision for their children development. Each preschool and childcare should engage at least one Child Development Psychologist to regularly provide on-site consultancy, to talk to teachers for children behaviors and to train teachers in handling those kids.
We sincerely hope that authorities will consider our suggestions above.
A group of concerned parents