Ex-Kinderland Teacher Admits to Filming Video & Quitting Due to the “Culture”

There’s now a plot twist in the Kinderland saga.

No, Tan Kin Lian did not step in to announce any significant changes, nor did he apply to be Kinderland’s CEO.

Instead, a former teacher revealed that she was the whistleblower. Surprisingly, this revelation came shortly after Kinderland released their first media statement, in which the former teacher explicitly stated she wasn’t the one who filmed or posted the video.

As it turns out, the plot thickens.

Background of the Kinderland Saga

Most are already aware of the incident at Kinderland at Woodlands Mart, but many might not know that only two teachers were in the room during the incident.

The first, referred to as Teacher A (although her identity is now known), is the one who mistreated the children. The second, Teacher B, is a 37-year-old Singaporean.

She was a newer teacher, still under probation when the videos were taken, and had previously held positions at other preschool centres before joining Kinderland’s Woodlands Mart centre in May.

She was assigned to work with Teacher A in the classroom but resigned within three months, citing the need to care for her ailing mother.

Her last day was 29 July 2023.

During her exit interview, she did not express any dissatisfaction with her work environment.

According to Kinderland, they reached out to her, and she did not admit to recording or posting the videos, claiming instead that she saw them from her friends.

However, this turned out to be untrue.

Teacher B’s Side of the Story in the Kinderland Saga

CNA spoke to Teacher B, who chose to remain anonymous, confirming that she recorded the videos.

She expressed her frustration that her concerns about Teacher A’s treatment of the students were not taken seriously by the preschool’s principal, Ms Mahirah Yasid.

Although she did not mention the videos during her discussions with the principal, she informed her that the alleged mistreatment was ongoing and not an isolated incident.

Teacher B felt that the principal did not believe her, as the response she received highlighted Teacher A’s years of service with the school.

She revealed that she decided to record the incidents after her husband advised her to do so, given the absence of CCTV cameras in the classroom.

Teacher B recounted instances where she intervened to remove a child from a punishment administered by Teacher A, only for Teacher A to forcefully take the child back and assert that she was not done with the punishment.

Teacher B told CNA that she did share the videos with a group chat for mothers on 28 August, after initially sharing them with the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA).

28 August is also the day when the video went viral.

She refrained from releasing the videos when they were recorded to avoid jeopardizing her job at the preschool.

As for why she resigned, while it’s true that she has to care for her mother, the main reason for her departure was the culture at the school.

However, she did not want to be too straightforward about it. She said the primary reason for her departure was her unwillingness to be part of the culture at the preschool.

She had already expressed her concerns, but no action was taken, leading her to resign.

Teacher A, Lin Min, Has Been Charged & Remanded in IMH

Singaporean pre-school teacher aka Teacher A, Lin Min, 33, faced court proceedings via video link today (30 August 2023), accused of child mistreatment, a violation of the Children and Young Persons Act.

The incident allegedly occurred just before 4 pm on 30 June at the pre-school where Lin worked.

The prosecution requested a gag order to protect the identities of the victims, and Lin’s lawyer sought to extend this order to cover Lin as well, citing requests for bail from her family and noting her service as a childcare teacher during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the judge approved the gag order only for the victims and not for Lin Min.

Additionally, the judge approved the prosecution’s request for Lin to undergo a medical examination at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH).

Lin’s case has been adjourned until 13 September.

If found guilty of child mistreatment, she could face up to eight years in prison and/or a fine of up to $8,000.

Response from Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA)

ECDA has also responded to the saga.

In a statement released today, they said that after they were being alerted to the Kinderland incidents by a former employee, they commenced their investigation on 10 August 2023.

They’ve since determined that the educator involved in the incidents, Lin Min, had used highly inappropriate methods to manage the children in her care. She has been issued a warning and barred from working in the preschool sector.

They are still investigating the roles of the centre leader and preschool operator in these incidents and may take further actions if they are deemed not to have fulfilled their duty of care to the children.

They added, “There are explicit provisions in the Early Childhood Development Centres Act and Regulations, which prohibit the use of corporal punishment or any other inappropriate child management practices in our preschools. ECDA can take action against educators or preschool operators when they are found guilty of not fulfilling their duty of care to the children under their charge.”

Individuals who are found to have committed serious acts of child mismanagement will be barred from working in the preschool sector, just like Lin Min.