In order to better protect their children, parents around Taiwan are cautious about the conditions of facilities where their children spend their days. Some parents did not think the conditions at Yu’er Kids (玉兒幼兒園) in Hsinchu met the proper standards. The school had allegedly evaded previous inspections, but was not so fortunate on Monday.
Authorities, including the Hsinchu Education Department and the Public Health Bureau, performed a joint audit of the school on Monday morning, following complaints and photos posted to the Facebook group 靠北惡質幼兒園. They found 12 expired food products for use at the school as well as unsanitary conditions that included not separating cleaning supplies from the food. Some of the snacks had been expired for two or three years, Apple Daily reported.
Inspectors also found toys for the children that were rusted and damaged. The fire extinguisher was also past its expiration date and there was debris in the hallway.
The preschool in the city’s Xiangshan District was fined NT$60,000 (US$1936) for violating The Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act.
The preschool director took responsibility for not disposing of expired food in the kitchen but said that none of it was served to the children. The director claimed that the person responsible for posting photos online likely had a grievance against the school and was exaggerating the situation. Apple Daily contacted the user who originally posted the photos of the preschool that led to the inspection; the user said that the photos depicted daily scenes at the school.
Hsinchu said that the city would step up inspections of preschools to ensure the safety of children. The city plans to increase the frequency of unannounced inspections.Preschools that have been found to violate standards will be listed online for parents to review.
The city government also urged parents to relay information to the the proper departments when they encounter problems with preschools, particularly related to food safety and hygiene.