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KUCHING, Jan 4: Minister for Women, Childhood, and Community Wellbeing Development (KPWK) Sarawak Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah wants local councils to include workplace nurseries in building plans, particularly those involving large corporations or organisations.
Fatimah told reporters this today following her visit to the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) childcare centre in Kota Samarahan.
“We hope that the local councils will take note of this matter so that large corporate bodies, for example, and large organisations, particularly those in the process of building a new complex, will have a workplace nursery included in the building plan,” she said.
Fatimah pointed out having a nursery in the workplace is important because it provides a support system for employees, particularly those who are young, newly married, or have recently given birth and are just starting a family.
“We are aware that having an extended family is a little challenging because it is different from before, so they require a support system so that they can work with peace of mind, knowing that their child is cared for and placed in a safe environment by educators and carers at the workplace nursery.
“It also increases workforce productivity in large corporations or organisations. It’s a win-win situation,” she added.
Fatimah revealed that her ministry has also come across those who are willing to renovate a room into a workplace nursery.
“This is also what we recommend. Renovate a room in order to have a workplace nursery, and we are available to provide advisory services regarding the components that must be adhered to in order for the workplace nursery to be later approved for operation.
“This is the most important aspect of granting a licence to operate—there must be compliance with safety requirements by technical agencies such as the fire department, the health department, and the local authority.
“Then there’s compliance in terms of teacher-to-child ratio. We want to make sure that the right ratio is in place so that the teachers can give these young children the attention they deserve,” she explained, adding the ratio must be low to ensure that teachers devote sufficient attention to each individual child.
There are 16 registered workplace nurseries in Sarawak, nine of which are under Sedidik Sdn Bhd, with a total of 347 children. — DayakDaily