Allow child care centres in residential areas for safety of children

KUCHING, Sept 29: Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Hannah Yeoh is urging residents of housing areas to be considerate and allow operators to open up child care centres in their residential areas.

She cited that objections from residents was among the main reasons why up to 90 per cent of child care centres in the country could not be registered when operators proposed to open the centres.

Speaking at a town hall session at Taman Sahabat here today, Yeoh said her ministry needed to get the 90 per cent of child care centres to be registered so that her ministry would be able to regulate them properly for the benefit and safety of the children attending these centres.

“So in this Malaysia Baru, if we want a different outcome and we want a nation that is different and first class, we have to start adopting some of the mindset of first class nations. We have to start thinking beyond ourselves and our comfort, and this ‘Not In My Backyard’ mentality has to go.

“When I took time to explain this to residents’ associations and ‘rukun tetangga’ (in the Peninsula), they said they did not realise the challenges these operators had to face, thinking that these operators were making money and instead should open at commercial areas, not their residential areas.

“But when you take time to explain to them, they will understand and find ways to accommodate them (operators) and work together,” she said.

On top of having to deal with objections from residents, these operators also had to bear with having to charge low fees, at the same time absorbing operation costs and salaries of teachers.

“Your role in Malaysia Baru, when you have to pay for something that matters and you have to pay more for something like this that matters. Don’t be stingy with child protection, and take time to understand the problems and ask. I think the authorities also has to engage the people so they understand.

“This would make them easier to register, and once registered it would be easy for the ministry to regulate them,” said Yeoh. — DayakDaily