Childcare Centre in Singapore mistakes stranger as child's mother

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Roxanne was mistaken for being a mother to one of a childcare centre's kids

To expect a person working in a childcare centre (or even a school) to remember the face of every single student's parents would be pretty unrealistic. But to mistake a complete stranger for being a parent to one of the kids, and carelessly handing the child over to the stranger can be a very dangerous act.

Roxanne Tan, mum of a 17-month-old baby, shared with us that on 18 August, she was mistaken for being a mother to one of a childcare centre's kids. She said that living in the North of Singapore, she wasn't aware that there was a childcare centre in the area and she intended to enquire about the childcare's fees when the incident happened.

It was then that one of the childcare's staff came running up to her handling her what seemed like a bag of a young girl and released two children from the childcare, instructing them to put on their shoes. When Roxanne questioned the teacher, all the teacher replied was "This baby girl is not your daughter? She kept on calling you mummy and crying."

Roxanne shared that she reprimanded the teacher saying: "How can you rush to pass the girl to me without any clarification?"

"As far as I know, usually the teacher will not open the door and release the kids before they know for sure that those are their parents."

She said that the staff then questioned her colleague and asked whether she knew how the girl's mum looked like, to which both of them concluded that they didn't.

The girl was also the last one to be picked up at the child care centre, which may have prompted the staff to rush to Roxanne, thinking she was her mother.

Roxanne hopes that through this incident, parents can ensure that the school their kids go to does careful screening before committing any similar mistakes.

Childcare centres should take the safety of their students seriously and any mistake, however minor it may seem at that moment, could certainly result in something major. We hope that parents too can be extra careful and with the lesson learnt from this personal account, practice extra caution.

We asked a few mums on their thoughts on this incident and here's what they had to say:

"I think it's outrageous. What if the woman isn't someone like Roxanne? This matter can quickly escalate to a kidnapping case!" - Zabidah Alam, Housewife, 38

"Personally, I think that the staff isn't wrong for not knowing how the mum looked like. But they really shouldn't have acted impulsively." - Jenny Huang, Fitness Trainer, 27

"You can't expect the childcare to give the list of all of the parent's faces to the staff, right?" - Adeline Fernandez, Accounts Manager, 33

"I'm definitely coming up with a list of questions to ask my kid's childcare now!" - Joey Jayakumar, Banking Executive, 30

"But, did they try contacting the mum of the kid asking if she was going to be late to pick them up?" - Feng Yi, Teacher, 29

 

If you have any thoughts on this story, do share them with us. We would love to hear from you!

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