KUCHING: Childcare centres in Sarawak can reopen from June 9 with strict adherence to standard operating procedures (SOP), says a state minister.
Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said her ministry had drawn up the SOP, which covered measures to be taken by operators before reopening their centres as well as during the children's arrival, departure and activities after reopening.
"We have compared our SOP with those of the Federal Government and found that they are very similar.
"Our SOP has been presented to the state disaster management committee, which has endorsed them," she told a press conference at Wisma Kebajikan here on Thursday (June 4).
There are 236 registered childcare centres in Sarawak with a total of 3,707 children.
Announcing the SOP, Fatimah said the operators and staff were required to fill out a health declaration form and control their movement 14 days before the first day of reopening.
"They have to state in the declaration form where they have been in those 14 days," she said, adding that this was to ensure that the staff are in good health.
She also said the premises must be disinfected before reopening as well as daily after reopening.
In addition, the children must have their temperature checked upon arrival and wash or sanitise their hands.
"Parents will be asked to bring the child home if their temperature is above 37.5 Celsius or if they show symptoms such as coughing. Inside the premises, tables and chairs must be arranged to ensure social distancing and no group activities will be carried out," Fatimah said.
The SOP can be downloaded from the ministry's website at kwkpk.sarawak.gov.my.
Fatimah said feedback from childcare centre operators indicated that most of them had made the necessary preparations and were ready to operate.
"We believe the reopening of childcare centres will be a help to parents who are both working.
"Nevertheless, it is important for everyone to cooperate by complying with the SOP to ensure the safety of the children," she said.