The childcare centre in River Valley has refuted all allegations that they had mistreated children under their care. In its statement, Sam’s Early Learning Centre said that the photos and accusations were started by an unhappy ex-employee who has since returned to China. The photos first appeared on Chinese website WeChat.

Mrs Samia El-Ibiary, the centre’s director, said the photos “do not represent an accurate picture” of its operations.

On the photos of students lying down on the floor without mattresses, Mrs El-Ibiary said those students lying down were doing “stretching and breathing exercises” after lunch.

On the photo of rotten fruit in the school’s kitchen, the statement said, “The centre purchases fruit twice a week and certainly if any part does go bad overnight, (it) is cut out and thrown away. Certainly, if the whole fruit is bad, for sure it is disposed of.”

The photo of milk powder being discarded was of powder that had spilt onto the kitchen counter, and was swept up and thrown away for hygiene reasons, she said.

The child shown lying in a cot with a dirty diaper had a “habit of pulling his diapers off while in the process of having a bowel movement during his nap time”, Mrs El-Ibiary said. The teachers were aware of this and kept a “vigilant lookout” for this child, she added.

“On this particular day that the photo was taken, the teacher had called upon the cleaner to assist in the cleaning up of the child. The cleaner was asked to help wash the toddler while the teacher held him and distracted him.”

The child was under the centre’s care last year and he and his family have since moved back to their home country, she said.

The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), which oversees childcare centres in Singapore, is investigating.

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