Fatimah: Ministry to discuss with childcare centre operators to improve service quality

Fatimah (back row, wearing headscarf) with Taska teachers and operators.

KUCHING, August 12: The Ministry of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development will be holding a roundtable discussion with childcare centre operators in the state on ways to improve their service quality.

Its minister, Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah, said the gathering would be held this coming Wednesday, and the focus would be on the teachers’ wellbeing and the minimum fees to be charged by the centres.

“It is important that we look at the minimum qualification of our teachers at these childcare centres so that they can provide quality nurturing and education to the children.

“Apart from that, we will also look into the fee structure of childcare centres in Sarawak. Take note that parents should understand that this is the rice bowl of these centres to ensure they are running in ideal conditions while providing the best care and education for their children,” she said during Hari Taska 2018 cum launching of the Early Education Forum and Expo at Boulevard Mall here this morning.

On the teachers’ qualification, Fatimah said the issue of providing opportunities to under-qualified teachers to do part-time studies to upgrade their qualifications would also be discussed.

She said teachers must be prepared to take up training courses to secure proper qualifications. In addition, they must have the right attitude in caring for children.

“Parents should also have the right attitude and understanding when it comes to the fees. Parents must be prepared to pay the minimal fee that would be determined at the roundtable discussion,” said Fatimah.

She explained that if the fees were too low, teachers’ salaries would be low too: this could lead to a high turnover of teachers as they look for opportunities elsewhere.

“This can affect the quality of services and education provided by the childcare centres,” cautioned Fatimah.

Another topic that would be discussed would be compliances of childcare centres, particularly in terms of safety.

She said there should be constant monitoring of these centres at all times to ensure that the childcare centres are not only registered properly but also meet the compliances set by the ministry, including safety.

“We do not want our children, when sent to one of these centres, to meet with untoward incidents,” said Fatimah. — DayakDaily