Just over 74 percent of child daycare centers inspected recently by the Consumer Protection Commission (CPC) failed to meet the country's established safety requirements, officials said on Wednesday.
The inspection was carried out jointly by the CPC and the Ministry of the Interior's Children Bureau between May and June among 172 child daycare institutions around the country.
Consumer protection official Wang Teh-ming (王德明) said that a total of 128 of the institutions did not pass the evaluation, including 64 that failed in the area of building safety and management, 64 that failed in the area of fire safety and management, 72 that failed in the area of sanitary safety and management and 97 that failed in the area of administrative, teaching and caregiver management.
After these centers were ordered to make improvements within a required period of time, a second inspection found that 57 had failed to do so, Wang said.
Among the institutions failing in the category of fire safety and management, 36 had defects in their emergency escape facilities, Wang said, adding that food contamination was discovered in 21 institutions failing in the category of sanitary safety and management.
Chen Kun-huang (陳坤皇), chief secretary of the Children's Bureau, noted that more than 284,000 children require daycare services and that there are more than 4,200 child daycare institutions in the country.
Chen said the results of the government's annual evaluation of these institutions are available on the bureau's Web site, urging parents to check the results before sending their children to any of these institutions.
When selecting a daycare institution, parents should check whether the institution is licensed and whether it is over-enrolled, he said, noting that daycare institutions are required to provide one caregiver for every 15 children.
In addition, he called parents' attention to the fact that daycare institutions are not allowed to hire foreign teachers and that many institutions that tout their language programs provided by foreign teachers are illegal.