Cracking down on unlicensed childcare centres

JOHOR BARU: A task force has been created to check on every childcare centre in the state to ensure it is operating legally.

State women, family and community development committee chairman Khairin Nisa Ismail said it had held discussions with the Johor Welfare Department on carrying out an operation against unregistered or unlicensed centres.

“The state government will continue to take a firm stand against any parties that commit injustice and do not give children the rights they deserve,” she said here yesterday.

Khairin Nisa said under Section 6 of the Child Care Centre Act 1984, nobody was allowed to run or participate in the management of an unregistered childcare centre.

The offence carries a fine of up to RM10,000 or imprisonment of up to two years.

Earlier this month, the Welfare Department in the state had ordered the closure of a nursery in Mutiara Rini, Skudai, believed to be involved in the abuse of two babies.

The centre’s two other branches in Jalan Abd Samad and Gelang Patah were also ordered to close.

Khairin Nisa said she had recently been part of the task force team that had inspected two childcare centres in Iskandar Puteri identified as operating without complete documentation or licence.

Some childcare centres, she added, were also found to be employing illegal immigrants besides providing an unsafe and unhygienic environment for children’s growth.

“We immediately issued an order to close these centres as they had been operating without a licence.

“They must comply with the rules by having complete documentation and a licence should they wish to continue operating, ” she said.

Khairin Nisa also reminded childcare centre operators to cooperate with the state Welfare Department and relevant agencies.

She urged parents wanting to send the children to a childcare centre to first check with the Welfare Department to make sure that these were licensed.

“Parents should also inspect the centres or premises in terms of their safety and cleanliness to make sure that their child is in a safe and conducive environment,” she said.

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