The Ministry of Education has deployed a special inspection on the management of kindergartens nationwide and asked local education authorities to take effective measures to improve teachers' morality and tighten supervision, the ministry said on Thursday evening.
The ministry attaches great importance to reports about suspected child abuse in some individual kindergartens and has required local education authorities to launch probes immediately, it said in a statement.
"All kindergartens and teaching staff that harm the health of children must be seriously dealt with," it said, adding that those who commit a crime must receive criminal punishments.
Police and education authorities in Beijing are investigating an alleged child abuse case in RYB Education Kindergarten, a well-known chain of preschools.
Several parents reported to the police on Wednesday night that their children, all aged around 3, at the company's Xintiandi branch had needle marks on their bodies and were repeatedly fed unidentified white pills. Some parents alleged their children were sexually assaulted.
Police were probing the case and collecting evidence. Doctors and forensic experts also participated in the probe, but so far no conclusion could be made, according to the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau.
The education commission of Beijing's Chaoyang district, which oversees the alleged kindergarten, said the commission is also looking into the case and three teachers have been suspended.
This has been the third reported child abuse case in a month. On Nov 13, Shanghai police detained a person surnamed Zheng in charge of a day care center where staff were caught on camera allegedly abusing toddlers. Three other staff members from the third-party center management had also been detained, according to Shanghai police.
One clip showed a female staff member throwing a little girl's schoolbag on the floor and pushing her violently, causing her to fall and hit her head on the corner of a table. In another video, a child cried after being forced to eat something that his parents later claimed to be wasabi.
Almost at the same time, Golden Cradle Education and Technology Group, which has more than 700 kindergartens and schools nationwide, also got caught in a similar accusation as parents said teachers at one of its kindergartens in Beijing abused children. Police are probing the case but so far no progress has been released.