No ‘malicious intent’ on part of elderly man who tried to pick up child from childcare centre

No ‘malicious intent’ on part of elderly man who tried to pick up child from childcare centre

Maple Bear logo
Logo of Maple Bear childcare centre. (Graphic: Maple Bear) 

SINGAPORE: An episode involving an elderly man who tried to pick up a child from a childcare centre was found to have been a misunderstanding.

Police on Wednesday (Dec 19) said a report had been filed after Tiong Bahru Village, a community page on Facebook, published a post saying there had been an incident where a man tried to pick up a child that was not his from a childcare centre on Havelock Road. 

But an update posted later on Wednesday afternoon on the same Facebook page, said that police had looked into the matter and concluded it to be a “misunderstanding without malicious intent”.

It is understood that a miscommunication occurred when the elderly man went to pick up his grandchild, who attends Maple Bear childcare centre along Havelock Road. The grandchild however, had already been picked up earlier by the maid. 

But due to a misunderstanding at the childcare centre, another student was brought out instead.

In a Facebook post, MapleBear's education ambassador Patricia Koh apologised for causing concern and alarm among parents and families about the "huge misunderstanding". 

"We have clarified with both the parents involved regarding this case and they have confirmed that it was a huge misunderstanding," she said, adding that police have confirmed there is no further cause for alarm. 

​​​​​​​She added: "MapleBear has very clear standard operating procedures in place for dismissal times and we are happy to share with those who would like to know." 

"It always takes something like this to keep us on our toes and to remind ourselves to be vigilant and not to take things for granted," she added. 

The earlier Facebook post by Tiong Bahru Village page said the man had given the girl’s name to staff members at the childcare centre, but she did not recognise him and began crying.

The police said in a statement that they "treat such incidents seriously" and urged members of the public "not to speculate or spread unsubstantiated information which may generate unnecessary public alarm".

Source: CNA/ga(rw)