The Ho Chi Minh City Education and Training Department will close all nurseries that fail to meet the Ministry of Education and Training’s standards on ensuring safety for babies by mid-January.
Le Hong Son, head of the department, made the announcement during a People’s Council meeting on December 10.
In the last four weeks, two babies died after incidents that occurred at nurseries that were operating without a license in the city.
On December 1, a 13-month-old boy suffered a brain injury after an incident at a nursery run by Vu Thi Bich Van, 34, of District 8. He died two weeks after treatment.
And on November 16, an 18-month-old girl died after being beaten at the Ho Ngoc Nho Nursery in Thu Duc district. The nursery had no license from the city.
A member of the People’s Council, Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy, said that if illegal nurseries were not shut down, such deaths would continue. She said the city department should be more strict in its issuance of licenses for nurseries.
Son said the number of kindergartens and nurseries in the city had increased rapidly in the last five years. The city has 870 licensed kindergartens, a 2.5-fold increase compared to 2008. Since September, the city has inspected all kindergartens, and is scheduled to recheck them this month.
Companies with more than 500 workers will be required to create a land fund for kindergartens. Any facility found violating the regulations will be closed, authorities said.
Thuy said that industrial parks are in dire need of kindergartens and nurseries. If more were built in IPs and export processing zones, the pressure on inner-city facilities would lessen, she said.
Of the city’s 13 industrial parks, only Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park in Nha Be district has a kindergarten. Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone in District 7 is completing construction procedures for one kindergarten.
Plans are being made to build a kindergarten on 5,000 square metres of land in Vinh Loc Industrial Park in Binh Tan district and Linh Trung Export Processing Zone in Thu Duc district.
Total capital needed will be nearly 30 billion VND (1.4 million USD) each.
Son said that other industrial parks should set aside at least 5,000sq.m for building kindergartens. The city’s education department suggested that district People’s Committees be assigned the responsibility of issuing licenses to nurseries.-VNA