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High Demand Is Not The Reason Nurseries Operate Without Licence

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PUTRAJAYA – The high demand by parents is not an excuse for owner’s of childcare nurseries to overlook the requirement for registering and obtaining the operating licence for their centres.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said all parties involved in the nursery business are subjected to the law, whereby it is compulsory to register their business with the Social Welfare Department (JKM).

“It’s good to have many childcare centres being set up but they must follow the rules and regulations… not just operate it without following procedure and abiding the law.

“The demand is there, but we do not want certain people taking advantage of it, because when cases of child abuse occur, they will bring problems for the nursery owners, parents and even for the ministry,” she said at a press conference after attending the ministry’s monthly assembly, here today.

She was commenting on the measures taken by the ministry to handle unlicensed nursery issue, to avoid such incidents as the unregistered ‘Pertubuhan Penyayang Chi Yun’ welfare home in Penang which was ordered to close down and fined by the court.

Rohani said, the ministry understood the difficulties faced by nursery owners, to obtain permission to conduct their business from the local authorities (PBT) but it was not an excuse for them not to apply for a licence to operate from JKM.

She said nurseries or childcare centres were allowed to operate without a licence for two years with strict supervision by the ministry until their registration process had been finalised.

“If you really want to run the business, why not register it, at least take some initiative to register with JKM, not just putting the blame on the local authorities,” she said.

Rohani said the action taken against the owner of the ‘Pertubuhan Penyayang Chi Yun’ welfare home, Khaw Choy Ping, 39, and the closure of the nursery was appropriate, as Khaw had been warned three times by JKM to register previously.

Regarding allegations by a single mother that her child and others who were under the care of the home had become victims of abuse, Rohani said medical reports revealed that the nine children who were rescued were free of any physical and sexual abuse and the scratch marks on their body were caused during their escape.

“Two of the children have been handed over to their aunt while seven others are in a safe place under the ministry’s custody,” she said. – BERNAMA

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