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Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail – Bernama file photo

PUTRAJAYA: About 80 per cent or 13,700 childminders for those aged (0) to four in nurseries registered with the Department of Social Welfare (SWD) still do not meet the minimum qualification of the Permata Early Childhood Care and Education (KAP) course as of June 2018.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the lack of qualified caregivers had a negative implication on the number of registered nurseries.

“The census projection by the Malaysian Department of Statistics in 2010 estimated the number of children aged between zero and four in 2018 to be 2.3 million,” she said the launching ceremony of the 2018 Nursery Day here, today.

She said based on these statistics, if it is assumed that 50 per cent of children in Malaysia aged up to four years old required nursery care, our country would need 38,333 nurseries.

However, she said SWD’s database showed there were only 4,302 registered nurseries nationwide.

Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister said the numbers showed a clear shortage in terms of the requirement and availability of nurseries in the country.

“The lack of qualified caregivers and the number of registered nurseries will have implications on the quality of care and safety of our children,” she said.

Wan Azizah stressed that the availability of nurseries was important to provide a support system for working parents to manage their children while they were at work.

“This will indirectly help the country achieve its goal of increasing the number of women in the workforce to 59 per cent in 2020 compared to 54.7 per cent in 2017,” she said.

‘Equality’ was chosen as the theme for the 2018 National Nursery Day celebration in line with the Malaysian government’s commitment to the Convention on the Rights of the Child which it ratified in 1995. – Bernama

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