'Set maximum fee for childcare'

THERE is currently no ceiling price on how much a childcare centre can charge parents. For those who can afford it, this is not a problem.


“But for parents from the low to middle income group, this will greatly impact their quality of life. The fees of childcare centres are increasing but their real wages are not going up in tandem.


“Perhaps the government should set a minimum standard and a maximum price that must be complied with by all childcare centres so that this problem does not get worse.


“At the same time, the low to middle income group can still give their children better educational opportunities,” said Dr Siti Nor Awang of Universiti Malaya’s Department of Anthropology and Sociology.


She said in a lot of situations, the rise in fees was caused by an increase in the price of basic items.


Hence, there must be better control of the rate of increase of these basic items to avoid a ripple effect.


She also felt more childcare centres under the Welfare Department should be set up to provide affordable childcare for parents earning RM4,600 and below (who comprise 80 per cent of Malaysian households). However, this must not be done at the cost of better quality or standards.


“No matter what the increase in cost or subsidy given, the quality or standards of these childcare centres must be maintained or improved, because children are the country’s biggest assets. Hence, their early childhood education must be given serious attention.”


Last week, the government announced a RM15 million incentive to support the setting up of childcare centres in the country.


News reports quoted Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim as stating that the grant incentives would enable more childcare centres to be set up and also assist operators in setting up high quality centres.


Datuk Dr Kamaruzaman Ali, honorary secretary-general of the Federation of Reproductive Health Associations of Malaysia, said the grant would benefit families and encourage couples to have children.


But he said the details of the scheme needed to be made public and more needs to be done if the government was keen on encouraging couples to have children.


On childcare centres at workplaces, Kamaruzaman said it would be ideal as the mother can be close to her child. If the cost of childcare was subsidised, it would help reduce the financial burden of those with big families.


He said providing incentives such as tax exemptions to set up childcare centres would encourage more employers to do so and more women would also return to the workforce.


“The government needs to maximise the utilisation of our local human resource.


“Having more women return to the workforce would help reduce the dependence on foreign labour, and the establishment of childcare centres at the workplace may encourage women to have bigger families,” said Dr Kamaruzaman.

Childcare centres at workplaces can encourage more women to return to the workforce.

Source Article from http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/set-maximum-fee-for-childcare-1.339678?localLinksEnabled=false
'Set maximum fee for childcare'
http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/set-maximum-fee-for-childcare-1.339678?localLinksEnabled=false
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カテゴリー: Childcare   パーマリンク

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