Officials in Ho Chi Minh City are investigating a private nursery after a shocking video was published online showing carers constantly slapping children while feeding them.
The 20-square-meter house sits in an alley in Go Vap District and caters for poor children and those who are not old enough to go to an affordable public kindergarten.
The video, released on Wednesday, was captured during lunchtime when two women were taking turns to feed around 10 children.
They are seen forcing spoonfuls of milk and porridge into the children's mouths so violently that some of them choke or fall over. Some children were also slapped in the face when they failed to swallow the food.
One woman held a boy in a headlock and repeatedly poured milk into his mouth.
Local officials shut down the nursery on Thursday.
Police have summoned the two women for investigation. One of the women, Pham Thi Mong Thu, 49, has denied the allegations.
Investigators found that the nursery charges around VND2 million ($88) for each child per month, much cheaper than the average price at private kindergartens in the city.
The mother of a nine-month-old girl, who was not seen in the video, said she had to send her daughter to the nursery as both she and her husband start work early at a factory.
“I am not sure if my daughter was abused, but I could not help crying seeing other babies suffer,” she said.
Around 3,000-4,000 Vietnamese children suffer from abuse and maltreatment every year, said humanitarian organization World Vision Vietnam.
Abuse in schools is often reported. In most cases, the teachers or carers are fined and the schools are closed, but criminal charges are rarely brought against the culprits.
Last month, two teachers in Hanoi were fined VND2.5 million ($110) each after an online video showed them beating crying children in the head with various objects, including a slipper.
In a rare case, a court in the southern province of Kien Giang sentenced two babysitters to three years in jail back in January 2014 for torturing children at an unlicensed private nursery.
Another babysitter in Ho Chi Minh City received an 18-year sentence the same year for killing a baby after she couldn’t stop him crying. She escaped the death sentence because she was under 18 years old when the fatal incident occurred.