Are childcare centre teachers allowed to spank the children?

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Are childcare centre teachers allowed to spank the children?

Postby JGMum » Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:10 pm

As I plan to return to work soon, but worry that my maid will not be able to handle 2 active toddlers plus a newborn baby at home, I have placed one of my older children in a nearby childcare centre to give him some time to adjust before I return to work. He would always return home unhappy, and always cry and struggle when I bring him there the next day. I thought it was just due to the adjustment phase. But after weeks of this behavior, I talked to the principal to allow someone familiar to accompany him there for a while until he gets used to the environment. They agreed and I got my maid to accompany him for a couple of days. What my maid reported to me unsettled me. She told me that some teachers there (including the teacher i/c of my child's group) yell and scold the children regularly for things like making a mess of the toys during play time or messing up during meal times. Some even use corporal punishment. Just today, she witnessed a child in the 18mths-2.5 year old group who was spanked twice by 2 teachers - once on the arms and once on the backside - for urinating on the floor while the teacher was changing her diapers. Needless to say, she was crying piteously for her mummy after that.
I will be withdrawing my child from that centre. Now I wonder if my child was spanked or yelled at during those weeks when my maid was not accompanying him. Childcare centres are really new to me. Is this the norm in other childcare centres? How do we know what happens behind closed doors as parents are usually not allowed to sit in after the orientation phase? Now I am not sure if I should consider other childcare centres (maybe a more expensive one will be staffed by more loving teachers??? My current centre costs $700/mth for full-day childcare) or simply reconsider my decision to return to work so soon. Sigh :(

JGMum
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Postby schellen » Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:02 am

This is NOT allowed. You can report them to MCYS, etc. If you want, you can also sue them. However, in Singapore, child abuse laws are not clearcut and strongly upheld. Otherwise, a lot of parents, grandparents are already criminals for caning and spanking, even on hands.

I do know that in other countries, like Australia, UK and USA, it is very illegal and will be big issue if brought to light. In Singapore, they may see you as troublemaker or making mountain out of molehill. BUT you are the parent and you have every right to withdraw your child and treat your child with respect. If others don't, either educate them or go elsewhere. There are always centres who share your beliefs.

I was caned when young but I refuse to even smack my girl's hand when she misbehaves. There are other ways and we do not adhere to our beliefs because we are "weak" or "soft". Anyone who dares say that to me or my husband will feel our wrath. Anyway, our disciplined and sensible girl is proof that our style works.

Stick to your instincts and beliefs, especially in a part of the world where caning and spanking are as common as, er, well, kiasu Singaporeans?

schellen
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Postby hmsg » Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:07 am

Corporal punishment is a no no. The principal should be informed of such happenings. For the price u pay, u can find other alternatives easily.

hmsg
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Norm in childcare centre

Postby buds » Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:01 pm

[Moderator's note: Topic selected and edited for Portal publication.]

Heyya JGmum,

Unfortunately, nobody knows what goes behind closed doors...

It is also not accurate to stipulate that branded schools are
staffed by more loving and more educated teachers. if you've
read our fellow insider's posts, she has quoted that it is not
compulsory for a centre to get better qualified teachers who
are paid much higher even if fees are higher for branded schools,
cause if centres can minimize on manpower salary, the better
profit margin the school will benefit from. So, to not sugar coat
your thought on a more expensive childcare set up, it is not a
guaranteed thing.

However, after this experience of yours, you may consider sitting in
the childcare centre yourself to orientate your child prior to confirming
your enrolment. What I meant was, certain childcare centres have the
option for new/first time parents to go for "trial class". During this trial
period, parents will not be eligible for subsidy but upon sign up, the ctr
may allow the subsidy to run immediately and the fees for the following
month will be lessened that (you paid without subsidy - due to your trial
period). This policy also varies between centres.

Trial classes can be catered from between a week to a month depending
on the different centres. One parent/guardian may sit in thru the trial
period to have a feel of a first time childcare experience. Flexi-care is
also available at most childcares esp for hours that they aren't very full.
Must find out from the centre. Flexi can be sending your child for 2 days,
3 days or 4 days a week at certain hours. This interim period will allow
you to gauge if you are comfortable with the environment (whether it is
conducive for learning - ie. brightly litted, child size toilets/sinks etc),
not too big a ratio for child's class, carng teachers and teaching assistants,
etc... just to name a few.. You can also monitor the menu variation at the
same time and observe the portions given to children to eat and whether
it is value for money you paid for whatever they serve in a week.

As this is trial period, you as the parent shud manage your own child
during this time. Once you find you are more comfortable and thinking
of confirming your enrolment, you may highlight to the teacher and the
teaching assistant for them to take over on and off from you. At this
stage, you shud consider letting go of your child bit by bit to be more
independent and request he/she goes to teacher when unsure of any
thing or when he needs something. During this handover, you may con-
sider sitting in a corner of the class and encourage your child to join in
the class activities with his/her friends and teachers as much as possible
and that you are just a shout away.

Once you confirm enrolment but not sure whether he/she will be okay
wihout you around, continue with the flexi-care until you are sure that
your child is comfortable and comes home happy. Older children who
like a certain centre will ask how come there are days he doesn't go
to the centre. That is the indication that he/she is so looking forward
to going to school. Then, you can consider signing up for full day then
followed by daily.

Just to back track a little, from your post, you are wondering whether
your child has been spanked or yelled at... To be fair to the centre,
neither you nor your maid, has personally seen with your own eyes
any kind of abuse inflicted on your own child. Only on other kids.
In your feedback to the principal you should not assume that your
child was abused.

At times, children who see their other friends subjected to corporal
punishment may feel sad and traumatised and hence cry together too.
But it may not mean that your child got it too.

NO. Corporal punishment is not allowed in pre-school centres. Some
centres go a little further by not allowing emotional abuse as well.
it simply means, teachers do not belittle the child or say hurtful words
to make the child feel angry, sad, depressed or unwanted.

If my child were in a centre where they have been abused and i have
seen it with my own two eyes (four eyes if including glasses), i WILL
make a BIG issue out of it. But proof and witnesses are important.
And on top of that, i want every penny of my hard earned $$$ paid be
returned to me, IN FULL!

Hang in there ok.
Analyze the situation properly.
Especially now you are considering to join the workforce again
really soon. Discuss with your husband and agree on what is best
for you and your children. Plus your thoughtful notion of lightening
the maid's workload. May i add that it was nice of your maid to
genuinely point out what see saw in the centre to you...

Just for sharing sake, k.
My personal thoughts.

Take care.

buds
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Postby anxiousmummy123 » Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:23 am

hi,

My sis inlaw was talking to my gal tat day & my gal happened to told her tat when she's naughty, her teacher will beat her palm & sometimes the other teacher will also use ruler to knock her head. My first reaction was to ask my gal to watch wat she just said. My sis inlaw asked me if i know abt tis & concluded tat my gal doesnt seems to be lying bcos whenever my sis inlaw asked her y teacher beat & wat happened, she is able to elaborate. I never suspect anything as my gal is v attached to the teachers unlike some kids might have phobia if beaten. I've yet to ask the supervisor but had tried to explain to my gal tat teachers are not allowed to cane or beat them, if it happens again pls do let me know. I am wondering cld it be we used to beat her palm or cane her when she's naughty & now to her its a v normal procedure when the teachers practised it. Or is my gal too exaggerated? The other thing i dont like is, teachers & supervisor didnt keep me updated in things like her weaker subject, conduct, sch fee deductions etc... I'm quite pissed off wif this actually. I m always the one to col them if i wanted to know more. They wont make the effort to write down on the communication book at all. I was tinking of enrolling my son into the sme cc as my gal nx mth so tat my son can overcome the fear & get used to the environment b4 my gal enter pri 1. So after reading the forms, there's some queries & the supervisor told me tat she'll ask the management & get bk to me. Till nw, its almost a mth & there's no news fm her. They reali v bo chap lor. It makes me having 2nd thoughts of putting my son there. I m even tinking of switching my gal so tat at least for the nx few mths, my gal can help to look after her bro in the new cc bcos my son is still not able to express himself in fact he still dont like to talk. BUT will it be healthy for my gal as she's in k2 nw & switching her at tis time meaning she'll take some time to adapt. will it affect her academic? Choosing between Sparkletots Alexandra, Cherie Hearts Depot & Cambridge Tanglin. Cherie Hearts Depot is the nearest for me. Any feedback besides those on Cherie Hearts Thread which is mostly on the security & transparency of Harbourfront? Or is there any other alternatives?

anxiousmummy123
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Postby wownice » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:10 am

my daughter goes to a 1.5 hr playgroup a few blocks from our place. she is 2 yrs and 3 months. the other day, she told me that she was 'spanked' in school. she isn't talking very well yet, i just asked her what she did in school. she usually says dance, etc but this time she said the word 'spank' and seemed to be upset about it.

my husband said i should talk to the teacher but i feel i do not know how to go about it. we are new in this country (arrived here in april) and she has been in the preschool for 1.5 months. she's still excited when going to school. should i take action? i haven't seen it with my own eyes and i can't rely on my daughter's limited vocabulary to tell the teacher what she said.

wownice
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Postby sysherlene » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:46 am

wownice wrote:my daughter goes to a 1.5 hr playgroup a few blocks from our place. she is 2 yrs and 3 months. the other day, she told me that she was 'spanked' in school. she isn't talking very well yet, i just asked her what she did in school. she usually says dance, etc but this time she said the word 'spank' and seemed to be upset about it.

my husband said i should talk to the teacher but i feel i do not know how to go about it. we are new in this country (arrived here in april) and she has been in the preschool for 1.5 months. she's still excited when going to school. should i take action? i haven't seen it with my own eyes and i can't rely on my daughter's limited vocabulary to tell the teacher what she said.


My advise is, if in doubt, just ask. Becos if u dun, u will never get the story straight.

I can accept childcare teachers being strict and scold my kids as long as it's justifiable, for e.g. they mess up toys and refuse to put them back. Becos I felt that's training to the kids to be responsible for mess created by them. But I can't accept physical punishment like hitting them on the head, which will cause concussion.

Whenever my kids came home & tell me they were scolded by the teachers, I will ask them for the reason, and then go back to the teachers the next day to verify the story.

sysherlene
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Postby smurf » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:59 am

I agreed with sysherlene. I think disciplne is very important. I can accept scolding, but not emotional abuse like calling the kids 'stupid, dumb, etc'.

My boy who is very mischievious like to beat his classmates, and if the teacher is not firm or strict, it's hard to control him. Another method the teacher uses is to praise the kids when they are good or to ask the kids to 'help' in the class to divert their attention. I think that is much better than to use the 'naughty chair'. I dun see any good in using the chair, it makes the kid more resentful and feels that he/she is unwanted and naughty. :(

smurf
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Postby shopzz » Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:00 am

I guess the most direct way is to ask the teacher or in charge.

Another alternative is to chat with other parents when you send or fetch your child. You may dig out more info or history :roll:

shopzz
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Postby wownice » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:21 pm

Thank you so much for your prompt replies.

I have talked to one nanny and she said that the child she takes care of also mentioned something about being spanked. I am not sure if she told the parents about it.

wownice
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