2,000 kindergartens not registered

The Welfare Department will seal off 2,000 premises used as kindergartens illegally throughout the country if they fail to register with the department soon.

Its deputy director-general Halijah Yahaya said of the 6,000 existing kindergartens in the country, only 4,000 had a valid licence issued by the department to operate as child-care centres.

She said the department was taking a serious view on licensing of these centres as the owners and babysitters needed to undergo training and sit for the test in order to meet certain criteria before they would be allowed to run them.

“This is because we do not want any untoward incident like what happened recently where a three-month-old baby girl died after she choked on the milk fed to her.

“The department is very concerned about the safety of children at child-care centres and hope the operators would be able to meet the criteria set by the department before they start operating,” she told reporters at the monthly assembly of the Kedah Welfare Department, here Thursday.