Enforce law for daycare centres


  • Letters
  • Tuesday, 21 Feb 2012

I REFER to “ Help Childcare Centres get licence” (The Star, Feb 20). I agree that there is a need for legitimate childcare centres to receive aid from the Social Welfare Department (JKM) when it comes to registering a business.

However, more often than not, most illegal operators couldn’t care less whether they are certified as a legal daycare centre due to the lack of spot checks on these centres.

The difficulty of getting a licence may not even be a factor.

I live behind an unlicensed daycare centre located in a residential area in Wangsa Melawati that already has a licensed childcare centre within walking distance of it.

This unlicensed place falls far short of a daycare centre. Flying a few measly coloured streamers does not a childcare centre make. This place cares for three newborns and these babies are left crying incessantly for hours.

About 15 toddlers are left to roam and scream at their own free will and are usually yelled at by the cikgu when they ask for a glass of water.

The cikgu’s screeches can be heard above the fracas. They do not speak kindly to the children. They even yell at them to wear their clothes after their morning shower.

How do I know all these details? This unlicensed childcare centre opens all its windows and doors and every screech, yell, and scream can be heard clearly in the next house (unfortunately, mine).

I pity the children who are at the mercy of the teachers. Are these caregivers trained in CPR? Have they a Diploma in Early Childhood Education? Do they really care for the children or do they simply see the children as a means to an end.

It may be a convenience for parents to leave their child at a childcare centre but please, do so at one that is licensed. Children in their formative years should be nourished with tender care instead of flippant disregard.

Despite two complaints to JKM, nothing has been done about this taska. Perhaps it is due to the incompetence of our JKM that childcare centres have difficulty getting licences which then leads to unlicensed centres mushrooming all over Kuala Lumpur.

How many more dead babies or toddlers do we need before some action is taken to ensure that our children are cared for by trained caregivers?

SLEEPLESS,

Kuala Lumpur.

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