Parents must check to see if kindergartens and childcare centres have valid licences to operate before sending their children to them.
Association of Registered Childcare Providers Malaysia (PPBM) president P.H. Wong said most kindergartens and childcare centres in Malaysia did not have a licence to operate.
She said the Welfare Department issued the licence and this had to be renewed annually.
“Of the 1,600 childcare centres in Malaysia, only 300 have their licences renewed.
“The rest were denied a licence because they failed to meet the department's requirement,'' said Wong.
Even some of the franchised childcare centres did not have licences to operate, said Wong.
“The main franchise holder may have one, but the branches need to get their own licence to operate, too,'' she said.
Wong said kindergartens and childcare centres needed the approval of the department and relevant authorities to operate to ensure the safety of the children.
“The centres also need a permit from the local authority to use the premises they are on,'' she said.
Wong said parents should check with the association on the validity of any new kindergarten or childcare centre in their neighbourhood.
“The children's safety may be at stake,'' she said at a press conference over Childcare Providers Day 2005 that will end Sunday. The conference was held at MK Land's office in Damansara Perdana recently. For details, call PPBM at 03-7727 2991 or log on to www.childcareppbm.org.