KUALA LUMPUR: The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry is working out the details of childcare subsidy for civil servants and hoped that it can be implemented in May, said its minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.
The details are being worked out with the Treasury and the Public Service Department, she said.
The Ministry is targeting 717 childcare centres to be established at the respective ministries and government departments in the next two years, she said.
This number was derived from the number of ministries and the related government agencies, government departments and statutory bodies, she said.
Currently, there are 28 ministries with 93 registered childcare centres at the workplace, she said.
Last Friday, Shahrizat announced that civil servants whose household income is RM2,000 and below are entitled to childcare subsidy for each child up to RM180 for childcare services provided at the workplace.
The subsidy is for children up to age four.
"With the subsidy and the RM80,000 initial set up grant, we hope that ministries and government departments come forward and take advantage of the benefits and set up childcare centres at the workplace," she said.
At the same time, training of childcare givers will be intensified and the module upgraded, she added
Out of the 1.3 million civil servants in the country, 243,000 (18.6%) are women between 18 and 39-years-old and they possibly have children to qualify for the subsidy, she said.
It is not known how many male civil servants have children at that age.
The exact number of civil servants whose household income are RM2,000 and below are still being worked out, she said.
"Our mission this year is to create family- friendly workplaces," she said.
"There are more women joining the workforce and if we are not prepared for this, the government may lose the needed labour skills because they may choose to stay home to care for the children, or not get married or have less children," she added.
"We also do not encourage parents to send children to uncertified caregivers or leave small children in the care of older children," she said.
The main challenge is to change the mindset set of employers, she said.
"Corporate social responsibility is not only about making healthy profits but also about taking care of workers' welfare. This is a reflection of a civilised society," she said adding that corporations worldwide are moving in that direction.
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