KUALA TERENGGANU: Over half of the 2,035 unregistered daycare centres nationwide made the mistake of setting up their operations even before getting approval from the authorities. Many centres operate illegally because they are located in residential areas and their application for permits will stall if their neighbours complain, said Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Heng Sai Kie.
“The applications of more than 50% of unregistered centres are stuck because they face protests and opposition from neighbours. “As long as the neighbours oppose the setting up of the centre, the operators cannot get the permits,” she said. These centres, she added, could have easily avoided the hassle if they had registered their businesses and obtained approval from the local council, the Fire and Rescue Services Depart¬ment and the Health Ministry before setting up shop.
Heng said the lack of maids and parents not relying on close relatives for childcare were the reasons for the high dependency on these centres. ” Many working couples are not staying with their parents,” she said, adding that most centres were in Selangor.
Heng, however, maintained that the ministry had been making headway in getting centres to register through its Jom Daftar campaign. “There were 245 registered centres between January and May last year. After the campaign, the number has shot up to 819,” she said.
Heng said the ministry, through the Welfare Department, had also set up one-stop centres around the country for operators to have all their permits approved by the various authorities under one roof. “The permits are now valid for five years instead of one year while the processing of applications takes only seven days compared to two months previously,” she said.
Heng said cases involving deaths of children at daycare centres took place at unregistered premises, stressing that these tragedies could have easily been avoided. ” With registration, the Welfare Department can monitor the centres as well as conduct annual checks to ensure they follow regulations.
“The guidelines and regulations are not to create more hassle but for the sake of the children’s safety and health,” she said. Under the Child Care Centre Act, guilty operators can be fined up to RM10,000 or jailed not more than two years, or both. They face heavier penalties for repeat offences. Heng added that the ministry was also in the process of seeking tougher sentences. She urged anyone aware of errant or unregistered centres to report to the state Welfare Department or call Talian Nur at 15999. – The Star
The issues on non-licensed child care centre have been going on for as long as I can remember. Now the story popped up again due to the recent case of 2 boys passed away at an unlicensed centre. It’s a pity that something tragic has to happen before actions are taken, but hey…sadly that is common in Malaysia. Nevertheless, reading the article above I’m not convince the issue is going to be tackle anytime soon.
Ask any working mother. It has been an ongoing dilemma for years. Some even decided to quit working due to this issue. I remembered when my son was 2-months old I called Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat and asked what are the daycare centres that listed in Ampang and she only mention one name. Can you imagine that? Just one, and that one name don’t even take 2-months baby. Irony.
It’s irony because I saw so many childcare centres in Ampang. You can find it at almost every block with banners and playground. So aren’t they licensed? If not, why are they operating? Where are the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry? Why they don’t comb the area now and then and just close the unlicensed one. This involves life of the innocent children.
From the article above, the ministry is pointing fingers at almost everybody (including neighbors!). First, the centre itself because opening without approval. I’m not surprise by that. Sadly to say, I have to admit that Malaysians are not civilized enough. They run the red light and throw rubbish on the street every day. Breaking law, no punishment, so what? A bitter truth. It is even depressing to see parents do it, as kids will imitate. Sad, indeed.
In my opinion, enforcement of the law is the key. Why people don’t throw rubbish in Singapore? With due respect, I don’t think because they are such a hygiene person to begin with but it is because of the strict law. It starts with enforcement and eventually habits will follow.
Anyway, back to the childcare centre issues. It is mind-boggling to me to the read the part in the article about lacking of maids and parents not relying on close relatives are the reasons why we depend on childcare centre. What the heck? Close relatives aren’t responsible to take care of our kids, and don’t start with maid. I have countless relatives and friends with 1001 stories about maid, and only 1% of it has good ending.
Ministry should stop highlighting the obvious and just enforce the license. This thing has been going on like a non-stop carousel. Do we need to wait for Minister’s grandchild to pass away at a childcare centre before this issue is solved once and for all? Sad:(