Mayor calls for tighter regulation over child caregivers after deaths
CNATAIPEI--Taichung Mayor Jason Hu directed government agencies in his city Monday to tighten their management of local child caregivers after two infants died under the watch of a nanny in Hsinchu County on Saturday.
February 5, 2013, 12:14 am TWN
Hu said amendments to the Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act that were passed in 2011 will eventually deal with the problem because all licensed nannies will be required to register with community networks of local governments.
But those revisions will not take effect until Nov. 30 next year, and Hu insisted at a Taichung City Council meeting that related agencies take action in the meantime because child safety cannot wait.
Wang Xiu-yan, director-general of Taichung's Bureau of Social Affairs, responded that the city government will launch a new service on the city's 1999 hotline to offer guidance for parents on related regulations and available parenting resources.
The new service will also encourage more nannies to register with the city government in the coming months, Wang said.
There are over 12,000 licensed nannies in Taichung at present but only 2,500 of them are included in the community's nanny network, the Taichung official said.
Wang also urged the central government's Child Welfare Bureau to lower the maximum number of children and infants a caregiver can take care of at any one time to better ensure child safety.
Under existing laws, nannies can take care of up to two children over the age of 2 and two under the age of 2 at any one time, but Wang questioned whether a single person could adequately take care of that many children at once.
The issue was thrust into the public eye after a nanny's allegedly inappropriate care led to the deaths of two babies Saturday night.
According to police, one of the infants, a six-month-old girl, was found strangled by a computer mouse wire while a two-month old girl was found to have vomited and choked in her sleep.