Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Population growth in HCM City, especially near industrial parks (IPs) and export processing zones (EPZ), has led to more children being sent to privately owned kindergartens, some of which do not meet safety standards.
More and more private nurseries have appeared in the city to help meet the need of workers at IPs and EPZs who work odd shifts.
Although many of the establishments have ensured safety and hygiene standards, others have failed to meet regulations on care and safety, according to authorities.
Tin Tức (News) online newspaper of the Việt Nam News Agency reports that only three caregivers are taking care of 70 children at Hoa Hồng Phượng Nursery in Bình Tân District.
At the nursery, an uncovered water pump prevents children from accessing it when needed, while chemicals for washing and floors, as well as other items, are not kept out of children’s reach.
The Phượng Vĩ Nursery in Bình Tân District has two hot, un-airconditioned rooms of 28 to 30 square metres each with 60 children supervised by two caregivers.
Neither of the establishments has a medical room.
Đỗ Đình Thiện, vice chairman of Bình Tân District People’s Committee, said though the district could not close these establishments because of local demand, district education officials were paying more attention to the quality of management of the nurseries.
In the future, the district plans to close private home-based nurseries and encourage those with two or three rooms to develop bigger facilities that would be officially classified as schools.
According to Tân Phú District People’s Committee, many private nurseries have only small facilities, lack equipment, and offer meals that lack sufficient nutrition.
Investors rent the houses and often move when the rent rises, while teachers often quit, affecting the quality of care, the committee said.
According to an education official in Thủ Đức District, most of the caregivers at these places do not have professional knowledge in children care.
According to the city’s Department of Education and Training, the city has more than 1,800 private nurseries, accounting for 55 per cent of the total number.
In Bình Tân District, the number of public and private nurseries has increased by 10 to 15 per year. The district has a total of 348 nurseries, including 22 public ones.
Thiện of Bình Tân District People’s Committee said that 64 per cent of the district’s 740,000 residents are migrants.
In Thủ Đức District, 60 per cent of kindergarten-aged children are sent to private nurseries. In District 12, 73 per cent of 71 nurseries are privately managed, serving 23,350 children.
Since November last year, seven private nurseries had to stop operating because they did not follow regulations on safety and hygiene.
Khưu Mạnh Hùng, head of the District 12 Educational Division under the local People’s Committee, told Sài Gòn Gỉai Phóng (Liberated Sài Gòn) newspaper that the division did not have enough staff to strictly manage private nurseries.
Vũ Thanh Lưu, vice chairman of Việt Nam Fatherland Front in HCM City, has instructed district’s authorities to pay more attention to management of private nurseries and should focus on quality, not quantity.
He said that workers at private nurseries should be provided training in caregiving. —VNS