Day care center abuses to be publicized: Gov’t

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Day care center abuses to be publicized: Gov’t

Starting next month, the government will publicize the names of day care center managers and teachers involved in child abuse.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare said yesterday that the Cabinet approved a revision to the Child Welfare Act to strengthen regulations on child abuse.

According to the revision, the names of the day care center operators whose facilities were shut down or suspended for child abuse or illegally receiving subsidies will be made public. The names of the day care teachers who committed abuses will also be publicized.

The names will be posted on the websites of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, local autonomous governments and Korea’s childcare portal site (www.childcare.go.kr).

According to the revised measures, offenders’ names will be posted for three years if the day care centers are shut down due to the child abuse. Those who were suspended from operating day care centers or teaching at the facilities will have their names publicized for six months or more.

In addition, the government will make public starting next year more specific information about those day care centers. The ministry said it will establish a system by the end of next month to allow the public access to information on the specifics of the facilities, their curriculums, childcare fees, their budgets and accounts, safety issues ? including meal plans ? and commuter transportations.

Day care centers also will be required to update that information on a regular basis.

The measures came in the aftermath of a series of recent child abuse cases at day care facilities. In the latest incident, a 27-year-old teacher, identified only by her surname Yu, was detained yesterday on charges of habitual child abuse.

The Busan District Court issued a warrant for Yu’s arrest yesterday after she was investigated for beating up or forcibly feeding meals to eight 4-year-olds at the day care center in the Haeundae District of Busan.

The abuse took place between July 23 and Nov. 7, and a total of 216 accounts of violence were recorded, police confirmed after an analysis of CCTV footage.

Police also arrested the 56-year-old manager of the day care center in relation to the case.

The incident comes only six months after the Busan Metropolitan Government conducted a citywide survey of childcare centers and provided a special education course to teachers aimed at child abuse prevention.

Those moves were prompted by a revelation in May that a group of children had been abused over several months at a public day care center.

According to an analysis from the Health and Welfare Ministry presented to the National Assembly in October, a total of 394 day care centers were reported to have been involved in child abuses over the past three years. Of those, 130 incidents involved physical and emotional abuse, while 12 cases involved sexual abuse.

Gyeonggi Province had the highest number, with 93 day care centers allegedly involved in child abuse. Ulsan followed, with 66 centers, and Seoul ranked third, with 51.

BY SER MYO-JA [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

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