Forum: Strict protocols in place to ensure well-being of pre-school children

We refer to Ms Luah Jiun Yih's letter (Parents should be told as soon as children fall ill in pre-schools, Dec 12).

The health and well-being of children and staff in pre-schools are of utmost importance to the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA).

To prevent and control the spread of infectious diseases among children and staff, all pre-schools must adhere to the infection control guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health (MOH).

This includes ensuring high levels of personal, environmental and food hygiene practices, and monitoring children and staff closely for symptoms of common infectious diseases.

We agree with Ms Luah that it is important for parents to be promptly informed when there are cases of infectious diseases in a pre-school. This enables parents to monitor their children for symptoms and seek medical attention, where necessary.

Therefore, pre-schools are required to inform parents and ECDA promptly when they are aware of any clinically suspected or known case of infectious disease, such as chicken pox or gastroenteritis, among children and/or staff.

Pre-schools are also required to notify MOH if clusters of gastroenteritis, hand, foot and mouth disease and respiratory illnesses emerge.

In such instances, ECDA will work together with MOH and other relevant agencies to investigate the case and provide guidance to the pre-school on measures to be taken to minimise the spread of infection within the pre-school and prevent a similar outbreak in future.

Should there be lapses by the pre-school that compromise the health and well-being of children and staff, ECDA will not hesitate to take stern action against the pre-school.

Bernadette Alexander

Director, Regulation and Standards

Early Childhood Development Agency

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