3 detained over claims of abuse at nursery

Three people at a nursery for the children of Ctrip employees have been detained in connection with allegations of child abuse.

Three people at a nursery for the children of Ctrip employees have been detained in connection with allegations of child abuse.

The Shanghai-based online travel agency reported the suspected mistreatment of children at its day-care center on Wednesday, police said yesterday. 

Four people at the center were then taken in for questioning and three have now been detained, police said in a statement. No names have been released.  

The nursery has been closed. Ctrip had said it would be seeking employees’ opinions on whether it should reopen.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

The nursery for the children of Ctrip employees has been closed.

The nursery was set up in February last year for employees needing their children looked after while they were at work. It was run by an agency called School for the Children, owned by the Modern Family magazine.

“We are fully responsible for this severe matter which has exposed obvious loopholes and problems in our internal management,” the magazine said in a statement released yesterday.

It said all those involved in the alleged mistreatment, including the nursery principal, had been fired. It didn’t say how many people had lost their jobs. 

Charging about 2,580 yuan (US$389) a month, the nursery proved so popular that some Ctrip employees had to be put on a waiting list. It catered for around 110 children between the ages of 18 months and 3 years.

Employees said that in addition to the convenience of being at their workplace, it was also cheaper than commercial nurseries.

Earlier this week, video clips from the nursery’s surveillance cameras enraged parents.

In one video, filmed on November 1, a woman was seen throwing a girl’s backpack on the ground and pushing the toddler, who then fell down and hit her head on the edge of a desk. 

Three other women in the classroom failed to intervene.

Another clip, filmed on November 3, showed the same woman forcefully feeding what parents said later was wasabi to some of the children, making them cry.

Ctrip and the nursery said she was a cleaner who helped take care of the children when teachers were busy.

Zhang Baobao, director of the School for the Children project, admitted to reporters that it had no previous experience of operating day-care facilities before running Ctrip’s nursery.


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