An effective way to prevent the incidence of child infant abuse and deaths is to step up training and ensure all childcare operators are registered.
Kuala Lumpur, July 2012- All daycare centres and nurseries must be registered with the Social Welfare Department to prevent incidences of child infant abuse or deaths, Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Heng Seai Kie said.
It is an effective way to solve such problems as under the Childcare Centre Act 1984, daycare centre and nursery operators must undergo a compulsory basic childcare course.
“The course will help these operators, supervisors and caregivers with the necessary knowledge on ways to handle children in a proper manner,” said Heng in reply to senator Pau Chiong Ung.
Pau asked the ministry for the number of complaints received on childcare centres and whether the ministry will review the conditions for those who wish to set up such centres.
Heng said the ministry has also created an online portal called “eZi2Care” for those interested in attending the course online.
She said from January to May this year, the Social Welfare Department has received 52 complaints and enquiries regarding unregistered children daycare centres.
To a supplementary question from senator Chew Lee Geok, Heng said that most cases of sexual child abuse or deaths were reported in premises that were not registered with the department.
Heng, however, said action can be taken against them according to the act which stipulates that those found guilty can be fined a maximum RM10,000, jailed two years or both, for the first offence – maximum RM20,000, five-year jail or both, for second offence.
“They can also be ordered to be closed temporarily,” she said, adding that their licences may also be revoked should they fail to comply with the standards set.
She said the ministry was always finding ways to improve its delivery system in facilitating the establishment of more nurseries and day care centres by introducing new initiatives.
Among the recent ones are the establishment of One Stop Centres by local authorities to speed up approvals to set up the centres and preparation of guidelines to streamline the registration process of these establishments nationwide.
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