Published on 31 August 2023
1. Since last year, the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) has been engaging the preschool sector and in February this year informed operators of plans to mandate the installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in all preschools and government-funded early intervention (EI) centres. This move is part of our regular review of security and safety measures in the early childhood sector, and takes into consideration the views of parents, educators and preschool operators. The CCTV mandate will take effect from 1 July 2024.
2. More than 60% of preschools and 100% of EI centres have already installed CCTV cameras on their premises. CCTV cameras will enhance the security of the preschool by deterring suspicious or unauthorised persons from entering the premises. In the event of incidents, CCTV footages can be an objective and reliable source of evidence to support the investigation. The implementation of CCTV cameras will complement existing measures to provide a safe and secure environment in our preschools so parents and educators will have a greater peace of mind.
3. From 1 July 2024, CCTV cameras will be required in key access points and areas used by children such as classrooms, activity rooms, play areas within the premises and infant napping room. To ensure privacy of staff and children, CCTV cameras will not be allowed in toilets, changing rooms and staff rest areas. ECDA will share a set of guidelines with preschool operators on 1 September 2023.
4. From ECDA’s engagements with the sector, preschools that have yet to install CCTV cameras shared they need time to make the necessary arrangements, including putting in place clear policies and proper protocol to access CCTV footages. ECDA will work closely with operators to ensure their CCTV system and cameras are installed properly and used appropriately to protect the privacy of children, staff and other individuals within preschool premises.
5. Parents’ access to CCTV footages will only be granted for the purposes of providing an objective reference point to clarify feedback or to assist the investigation of serious incidents within the preschool premises. The request should be within reasonable grounds.
6. Keeping our preschools safe is a joint responsibility. As part of ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of children, ECDA works with educational institutes and training providers to incorporate child safe practices in the training curriculum for early childhood educators. In their pre-service and in-service training, educators learn about appropriate child management strategies as well as practices prohibited under our regulations. ECDA also promotes sharing of good child management practices among educators during our regular engagements with the sector and visits to preschools. If there are suspected cases of child mismanagement, staff or parents should report the matter to ECDA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7. ECDA will continue to work closely with preschool operators and educators to ensure the safety and well-being of the children under their charge. It is equally important that parents and educators build a strong partnership to support our children’s development. Many of our educators join the sector with a passion to nurture our young children and make a positive impact in their lives. We encourage parents to continue supporting them as they work tirelessly in caring and educating our children.
EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT AGENCY