Shahrizat blames local authorities for thousands of unregistered nurseries

KUALA LUMPUR – Problems relating to Local Authorities (LA) are among the major causes of child nurseries failing to register with the Welfare Department, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil. She said she wanted the matter addressed quickly.

“Nursery operators are not commercial operators as they are contributors to community development,” she told reporters after an interaction session with nursery operators in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, here yesterday.

Among the problems faced by nursery operators is that every LA had a different set of approval conditions, for example in Selangor, where there are many districts, the approval process in Shah Alam and Petaling Jaya are not the same, she said. Another issue raised by the nursery operators was that LAs have different payment rates for town planning consultants, as required by the LAs.

Other than that, she said, nursery operators were required to change the status of premises from residential to business, while the licence needs to be renewed every two years as compared to the Welfare Department’s licence for every five years.

In light of this, Sharizat said the ministry plans to hold discussions with the LAs to coordinate the method of application for approval and ease registrationof nurseries as soon as possible. The ministry, she said, had established an action committee with the cooperation of the Malaysian Association of Registered Childcare Centres to overcome the problem of updating nurseries as yet unregistered.

Shaharizat said the registration of child nurseries with the Welfare Department was important to create quality and safe nurseries, while meeting the needs of the community.

As at April 2011,there were 584 child registered nurseries, while 2,727 nurseries were found unregistered with the Welfare Department.