Childcare centres in a fix

  • Community
  • Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014

Approval granted: Childcare centre operator Karen showing Zulkifli the acknowledgement letters and the permits displayed on the wall at her centre in Tanjung Bungah.

TWENTY-FOUR childcare centres in Penang will be closed down if they fail to register with the Penang Welfare Department.

State director Zulkifli Ismail said notices had been issued to the centres.

“The centres have seven days to register themselves after receiving the first notice. If they still do not, a second notice will be served.

“Another seven days will be given for them to register before a third notice is issued.

“If the centres choose to ignore the (third) notice, they will be shut down after seven days,” he told a press conference at a childcare centre in Tanjung Bungah yesterday.

Zulkifli said the department could order the closure under Section 20A Childcare Centre Act 1984 (Amendment) 2007.

“Under Section 6 of the same Act, the centre operator can also be fined not more than RM10,000 or two years’ jail or both.

“To operate a childcare centre, the operator must obtain permits and acknowledgement letters from the Penang Welfare Department, the Health Department, Penang Municipal Council and the Fire and Rescue Department,” he said.

He said 150 childcare centres in Penang had registered with the department and acknowledgement letters had been issued to them.

He added that the acknowledgement letter was valid for five years and the registration fee was RM250.

The department checked two centres yesterday — one in Mount Erskine and the other in Tanjung Bungah.

The centre in Tanjung Bungah has registered with the authorities to offer childcare services.

However, the centre in Mount Erskine was not registered.

It was also found to be operating both as a childcare centre and a kindergarten.

“Operators are not allowed to run a childcare centre and a kindergarten in the same premises because both come under different Acts.

“A kindergarten comes under the purview of the Education Department and not the Welfare Department.

“The operator must decide to run either a childcare centre or a kindergarten,” he said.

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