Little girl allegedly abused in Singapore childcare, mum pleads for justice
"Sorry Haley, Mummy failed to protect you and failed to get justice for you."
[UPDATE]: The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) has responded to theAsianparent about this incident. See below for their statement.
The In a heartfelt post, a mum has shared how her 6-year-old daughter was allegedly abused in childcare in Singapore, and yet, no action has been taken by the authorities, even though the incident was reported more than a year back.
“I am taught since young to have faith in our police force, in our legal system. Today, all my faith is gone…”
“Sorry Haley, Mummy failed to protect you and failed to get justice for you,” she writes.
In her Facebook post on 14 August 2019, Singapore mum Polly Low says that her daughter had got physically abused in her childcare in July 2018, and a police report was made back then.
The mummy had also posted about the incident on social media in early 2019.
She reveals that, “In March, 8 months after my gal got beaten up, police finally engaged a psychologist to interview my gal, as she has speech delay…she was asked to draw out the events instead.”
The mummy wasn’t allowed to enter the interview room, and waited outside for 2 hours.
“The SIO and psychologist showed me the drawings of what my girl drew… she drew herself crying…she drew where the teacher had beaten her… she drew the teacher’s angry face.. she drew her classmates’ smiling faces. It Broke my heart.”
But what really shocked this mum is the confirmation that the case has been closed.
“The police just called. They said no further action will be taken to anyone…in short, case closed.”
“Whatever my gal drew… whatever pain was inflicted on her.. .whatever mental trauma she went through, whatever injury she had, it doesn’t matter to the legal system. The teacher will probably be teaching somewhere else… she will probably live her life as it was before.”
“A dog abuse case.. even got a verdict. A child abuse case, NOTHING.”
“I am taught since young to have faith in our police force, in our legal system. Today , all my faith is gone. Sorry Haley, Mummy failed to protect you and failed to get justice for u.”
“Friends.. do help me to viral this post and share…”
Polly has also shared pictures she had taken of her child’s bruises and wounds.
theAsianparent contacted Ms Polly Low, and she tells us that the abuse happened when her daughter was 5 years 11 months old. The child suffers from global developmental delay, and the childcare (which is a private Montessori school in Hougang) was well aware of her condition.
“My daughter has been attending the same childcare since she was 3 to 4 yrs old. The cc is aware that on certain days she has to attend therapies in KKH, hence she was usually bought home in the afternoon at about 12 to 1 pm.
“The teacher who committed the abuse was a new teacher who had just joined 2 months back. She had hardly interacted with my child, as during that period, she was also placed in DAS and had more frequent therapies.
“However, I was assured by the Principal that they always highlighted my girl’s condition to the teachers who handled her…” Polly tells us.
After the abuse, little Haley ended up being hospitalised for four days.
“Doctors took blood tests and treated the infected wounds, and took X-rays to see if there were any fractures. They also did scans because my daughter kept saying (or rather gestured) that the teacher had hit her on her head…her head was constantly in pain…
“We don’t know what the teacher had hit her with. On the 3rd day she got discharged, but she had high fever and was disoriented the next morning. We called the ambulance and she was admitted to hospital for observation.. she was discharged again on the 4th day,” reveals Polly.
theAsianparent contacted MSF about this incident, and here is the response from the ECDA spokesperson:
“The safety and wellbeing of our children is of utmost importance. The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) takes a serious view towards any case of child mismanagement. Preschools are required to report to ECDA any incidents that have an impact on the safety of children and staff.
“ECDA follows up on every alleged child mismanagement incident, such as through unannounced visits to preschools, interviews and verification of records.
“Immediate actions will be taken if our findings support the allegation. Preschool operators are also reminded through regular briefings and circulars to adopt appropriate child management practices, and to provide guidance and support to teachers on classroom management.
“In July 2018, ECDA was alerted by the preschool to this incident. While police investigations were ongoing, we advised the preschool to provide closer supervision and guidance to the teachers.
“We note that the preschool has tightened their procedures on child guidance and behaviour management.
“After the incident, as the parents wanted to place their child in a different centre, ECDA assisted them to do so.”
Children need a safe environment to grow and learn. Child abuse hinders the physical and emotional well being of a child. Reporting child abuse is the first step in stopping it.
Here are some useful helplines to report child abuse:
Police – 999
MSF’s Child Protective Service Helpline: 1800-777 0000
AWARE Helpline – 1800 774 5935 (Mon–Fri, 3 pm– 9.30 pm)
Tinkle Friend: For primary school students, especially children who are alone at home, who need someone to chat with or discuss problems with – 1800-2744 788