ECDA Completed Assessment of Kinderland Saga; Licence Tenures Limit in 2 Centres to Continue


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Remember the Kinderland saga back in 2023? 

Yes, I’m referring to the time when videos of two Kinderland Preschool teachers allegedly abusing their students went viral.

The incidents occurred at Kinderland’s Woodlands Mart and Sunshine Place outlets. 

On 20 February, the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) released a press statement announcing that it had completed its assessment of the Kinderland saga.

The conclusion?

ECDA reported that Kinderland Headquarters (HR) had failed to oversee its centres properly.

Failure of Kinderland HQ to Oversee Centres Properly

This conclusion came after the ECDA reviewed a report by an Independent Review Committee (IRC) that investigated child mismanagement incidents at the two centres.

The IRC was commissioned by Kinderland.

Since then, the ECDA has instructed Kinderland HQ to ensure that all corrective actions are appropriately implemented in all its centres.

Furthermore, the centres have been instructed to sustain the corrective actions to prevent such incidents from happening again.

Kinderland was fined $10,000 for the child mismanagement incidents.

The licenses of the centres involved were immediately shortened from 36 to six months.

The ECDA also rejected Kinderland’s latest application to add a new centre to the Partner Operator Scheme.

To ensure that corrective measures are sustained, the ECDA will continue to limit the licence tenures of the Kinderland centres at Woodlands Mart and Sunshine Place to six months following their expiry in March 2024.

That’s not all.

Kinderland must also share the lessons it learnt from the saga with the rest of the early childhood sector.


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This sharing would allow all preschool operators to learn from the incidents and review their internal systems.

The ECDA added that it will continue to monitor all Kinderland centres closely.

ECDA Measures to Improve Child Safety in Kinderland Centres

The ECDA noted that it has been performing more frequent unannounced checks on Kinderland’s classroom management practices.

It reported that all centres have implemented the necessary corrective actions. 

The ECDA announced that it will continue these visits.


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Furthermore, it has stepped up to strengthen safeguards for child safety in preschool centres.

Besides amending the Code of Practice to provide preschool operators and staff with clear examples of inappropriate actions, the agency has also strengthened its investigation protocol.

ECDA also worked with the National Institute of Early Childhood Development and other Early Childhood training providers to improve educator training in child management strategies.

Moreover, it has commenced a review of the penalty provisions.

A recommendation from the review included imposing higher fines for child mismanagement cases.

What Kinderland Has Done to Improve Processes

Besides corrective actions, Kinderland has also addressed system gaps in staff training, supervision and its whistleblowing policy across all centres.


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For instance, it has deployed more employees from its HQ to the two centres to provide guidance.

By November 2023, closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) were installed in all centres.

Now, centre leaders conduct daily walkabouts to tighten supervision.

They must also submit a daily online report that evaluates the centre’s operations.

In addition, Kinderland employees were required to attend training sessions on the preschool chain’s code of conduct, use of proper child management strategies, and reporting procedures for inappropriate practices.


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Kinderland ensured that its employees took these sessions seriously by taking attendance and assessing employee competencies through quizzes.

To improve its whistleblowing policy, Kinderland designated a contact person for employees to report inappropriate practices to.

It has also increased the channels that employees can use to report such incidents.

Current Status of the Former Educators Involved in the Saga

In its statement, the ECDA said that the former educator involved in the incident at Kinderland’s Woodlands Mart outlet has been charged with one count of ill-treatment of a child or young person following a police investigation.

The court case is still ongoing.

Meanwhile, the former educator involved with the incident at Kinderland’s Sunshine Place outlet was given a 12-month conditional warning.

Recap of the Incident

One of the worst nightmares that parents can have is thinking that they’re sending their children to a safe environment, only for their loved ones to be harmed.

On 28 August 2023, videos of a Woodlands Mart Kinderland teacher, Lin Min, went viral for all the wrong reasons. 


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In the first video, she was shown yanking a child’s head backwards and attempting to feed him water forcefully.

The child was seen to be struggling and crying.

In another video, she was shown trying to get a female student to drink water.

To force the student to comply, Lin Min made her lie down and poured water down her throat.

The third video showed Lin Min scolding and hitting the bottom of a male toddler with a hardcover book.

These videos were apparently filmed by a former teacher at the outlet.

Reportedly, she tried to inform the principal about the abuse but wasn’t taken seriously.

Of course, many parents got angry, prompting them to storm the premises to question why the principal did nothing about the abuse. 

On 30 August 2023, the former principal of Kinderland’s Woodlands Mart outlet was removed from her position and deployed to another one within the company.

The alleged abuse incident at Kinderland’s Sunshine Place outlet came to light on 29 August 2023 when a video depicting it went viral.

A teacher was shown aggressively opening the bottle cap of her student’s blue water bottle and yelling at him to drink the water.

After the student put his mouth around the bottle’s straw, she raised her hands and began hitting his head.

In ECDA’s press release on 20 February, chief executive Mr Tan Chee Wee said that the agency has zero tolerance for the inappropriate management of preschool children.

He added that all operators, centres, and educators are obligated to keep their students safe.

How to Further Safeguard Children’s Safety

According to ECDA, there were around ten substantiated child mismanagement cases per 100,000 enrolled children each year between 2019 and 2022.

Of these cases, about one case resulted in a criminal conviction.

Speaking to Channel News Asia, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said that it does not hire anyone who has previously committed criminal offences that would affect their suitability as an educator. 

Preschool operators like EtonHouse and Anglican Preschool Services told Channel News Asia that they conduct reference checks on job candidates. 

Notably, CCTVs will be mandatory in all preschools starting July 2024.

What else can be done in light of the rise in child mismanagement cases in Singapore?

Ms Ang Boon Min, the chief executive officer of the Singapore Children’s Society, told Channel News Asia that Singapore should have more explicit guidelines for creating a child-safe environment.

Besides focusing on surveillance and adequate reporting processes, she suggested that there needs to be sufficient support for staff members as well.

Channel News Asia also spoke to Nominated Member of Parliament Razwana Begum, who noted the importance of developing a national framework that explains how the government social services and the private sector can work together to protect children from harm.