AN ELITE kindergarten in Tanjong Pagar that employs a popular Japanese-designed curriculum has abruptly decided to shut its doors, leaving parents scrambling to find new schools for their children.

The sudden announcement by Shichida Kindergarten, made in a letter addressed to the parents on Oct 5, caught them by surprise, while those who have paid advance school fees try to get their money back.

The two-year-old school initially refused to refund the fees, which for some parents runs into several thousand dollars, saying it needed the money to pay the salaries of staff, according to parents interviewed.

It said in the letter that the school will cease operations on Nov 19.
Parents were also upset that repeated requests to meet the school's management to address their concerns were ignored.

This prompted some of them to complain to both the Education Ministry and the Consumer Association of Singapore (Case).

School refused to return fees