1   Short title

   2   Interpretation

   3   Registration of early childhood institutions

   4   Application for registration

   5   Permit to operate institution prior to registration

   6   Refusal of registration

   7   Register of early childhood institutions to be kept

   8   Records of early childhood institutions to be kept

   9   Complaints procedure

   10   Suspension and cancellation of registration

   11   Notice of suspension etc of registration

   12   Appeal

   13   Cancellation of permit

   14   Investigations

   15   Qualifications of operator and employees

   16   Prohibition of corporal punishment and restraint of child

   17   Storage of toxic substances, etc

   18   Assignment of officers and powers of entry and inspection

   19   Obligation of staff to co-operate

   20   Penalty for obstruction

   21   Health inspection

   22   Order for closure of early childhood institutions

   23   Regulations

   24   Offences

   25   Penalty where no express penalty

   26   Registration of existing early childhood institutions

   27   Power to amend schedules by order




[Date of Commencement: 30th November 2007]

5 of 2005,
12 of 2009.

1   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Early Childhood Act.

2   Interpretation

   In this Act-

   "basic school" means a school that offers a course of educational training for students under the age of six years;

   "Commission'' means the Early Childhood Commission established under section 3 of the Early Childhood Commission Act;

   "day care centre" means any premises used for the provision of non-residential day care service to more than four children up to six years of age for at least six hours per day and at least four days per week;

   "early childhood institution'' means a setting that provides develop-mentally appropriate care, stimulation, education and socialization, for children under the age of six years, including day care centres and basic schools;

   "inspector" means a person assigned by the prescribed authority pursuant to section 18;

   "prescribed authority" means the Early Childhood Unit of the Ministry responsible for education, or such other entity as the Minister may designate in writing.


3   Registration of early childhood institutions

   (1) No person shall operate an early childhood institution unless that institution is registered under this Act.

   (2) Every application for registration under this section shall be submitted in accordance with section 4.

   (3) The Commission shall register an early childhood institution if in relation to an application the Commission is satisfied, based upon the written report of the prescribed authority, that-

   (a)   the applicant is eighteen years of age or over;

   (b)   the applicant is a fit and proper person to operate an early childhood institution;

   (c)   where the applicant is an individual, the applicant has not been convicted of an offence under the Dangerous Drugs Act, the Offences Against the Person Act, the Sexual Offences Act (other than an offence against section 28) or the Child Care and Protection Act, or an offence involving fraud, dishonesty or moral turpitude;

[12/2009 3rd Sch.]

   (d)   where the applicant is a company, none of its directors or in the case of another body of persons, none of its members, has been convicted of an offence mentioned in paragraph (c);

   (e)   a person to be employed by the applicant in the operation of the institution has not been convicted of an offence mentioned in paragraph (c);

   (f)   the applicant or a person to be employed by the applicant in the operation of the institution is not, by reason of any infirmity of mind or body or otherwise, incapable of operating or being employed in the institution; and

   (g)   the premises in which the institution is to be operated meets the requirements set out in the First Schedule.

   (4) Where the registration of an early childhood institution is approved by the Commission, the Commission shall-

   (a)   within thirty days after such approval (exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and public general holidays), issue a registration certificate to the institution; and

   (b)   upon the issue of the registration certificate, cause a notice of the registration to be published in the Gazette.

   (5) A notice under subsection (4) (b) shall state-

   (a)   the name of the institution as it appears on the registration certificate; and

   (b)   the name of the operator of the institution.

   (6) The operator of an early childhood institution registered under this section shall ensure that a valid registration certificate issued to the institution under subsection (4) is displayed in a conspicuous place on the premises of the institution.

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