Sunday, August 28, 2005

Subsidised Nurseries

As reported by both the Star and NST on Friday, low income parents can soon send their young children to community childcare centres while they go to work for approximately RM100 per month.
The Prime Minister said the Government would provide a launching grant to set up the centres and subsidise the fees for urban families earning below RM2,000 a month and rural families earning below RM1,200.

As a start, a grant of RM1.19mil will go towards the setting up of 10 childcare centres, mostly in urban and semi-urban areas. Each centre can accommodate 30 children aged four and below. The monthly fees per child is RM280 but part of the grant will be used to subsidise RM180 for each child. This means eligible parents need to pay only RM100 per child.
“Non-governmental organisations and the local community will be responsible for managing the community childcare centres. To bear part of the costs, I urge the private sector to play a role and give appropriate financial support,” said Abdullah.
This is good news, particularly for young parents who don't live with their parents and who can't afford (or do not want to engage) a maid. I'm personally thinking of running a little nursery within my office, should there be sufficient demand for such services. After all, I realise that my staff are indeed getting older, many of them getting married recently and some awaiting their newborns' arrival soon. :) It'll be a noisy and boisterous office then. :)

1 comment:

Bigjoe99 said...

I am a big believer in pre-school education especially in experiencetial ones. However, the latest studies show that there is no mark difference between students who attend pre-school and those who don't. Apparently what is needed is personal attention of each child's need which money or at least small amount of money cannot buy. In other words, there is no real subsitute for Parenting and quality outsource parenting is unlikely to be purchased with marginal money. Certaintly there are many dedicated caring people that are willing to do good work for little or no money but its a matter of luck and not created with government program.

The key to improving pre-school care is making it a priority to the community. If we all care about it, we will find way about it. Whether its day-care at work or a community that supports each other in parenting and insist on quality pre-school, its a community decision that must be made first. Without a community decision, nothing is going to work well.