SHAH ALAM: The Selangor government is starting a work-from-home scheme and offering free child-minding courses in the middle of this month under a pilot project to help the urban poor.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo said that these programmes were aimed at the economically inactive group of housewives, the elderly and the house-bound.
The additional income of a few hundred ringgit would go a long way in helping the families live a little more comfortably, said Dr Khir.
The work-from-home project will kick off in Shah Alam where 10 companies have agreed to provide piecemeal jobs to the targeted groups.
The jobs, on contract basis, include packing of goods, ironing clothes and sewing buttons, Dr Khir told reporters after chairing the state exco meeting yesterday.
On the child-minding courses, he said the intention was to make babysitting cheaper for the deserving groups.
The first course would be conducted in Kota Damansara and the pioneer batch of participants would be selected from those living in low-cost homes and flats.
This was to ensure the group most in need received help first. The purpose was to train housewives and provide them with proper knowledge so that they could help mind their neighbours children.
The babysitters can obtain supplementary income and, more importantly, the parents can go to work in peace, knowing their children are cared for by trained nannies who live in the neighbourhood and charge reasonable fees, said Dr Khir.
He said the babysitters would only care for two or three toddlers in their homes, as the intention was to help working parents, not to train babysitters to open nurseries.
He said the state government would work with the Health Ministry in organising the childcare course where the babysitters would also be taught to handle emergency situations.
He added that the state secretariats affordable child-minding facility in Shah Alam, where a state government employee was charged a mere RM20 per toddler, was a huge success with the lower-income staff.