Proposal For Reforms For The Early Childhood Care And Education (ECCE)

By:

Asha Singh/Lim

Affiliations:

Education Cluster

Policy Code:

2e Child

Problem Statement:

In 2017 Malaysia had a total of approximately 2.7 million children under 5 years (1.3 girls and 1.4 boys ) but only 4812 registered childcare centres (TASKA) with thousands unregistered.

In the past two years , these children have had no form of educational preparedness for the primary years due to closure of child care centers. During the Covid-19 pandemic, only children of frontliners were permitted to attend early childhood care and education centers. This resulted in the closure of many childcare centers

Value(s) and Belief(s):

Poor quality early childhood care puts children at risk of toxic stress, abuse & neglect and educational disadvantage

Proposal of Solution:

1. Formulate a National ECCE Policy and develop a Strategic National Plan for Delivering Quality ECCE to all children
2. Place Various Types of ECCE Institutions Under One Agency for Establishment, Regulating and Operations of Early Childhood Care and Education Institutions
3. The Ministry of Education and the Dept of Social Welfare ( KPWKM) should subsidise Taskas and Preschools to enable them to be accessible and affordable to marginalised families, through alternative models (playgroups, toy libraries, home-based childcare centres) to Childcare Centres
4. Widen and include the categories of these alternative models nd approaches to early childhood care, for licensing and regulation.
5. To build ECCE as a Profession: Establishing an ECCE Profession Act to lay out minimum qualification competencies to facilitate the establishment of ECCE Professional Regulatory Body.

6. Compulsory Child Protection Policy for all TASKAs to be implemented

7. Build partnerships with NGOs and the Corporate Sector to reach marginalized and remote communities to ensure that positive parenting skills education, child safety and delivery of quality ECCE to benefit families directly, with the support of the corporate sector
eg Innovative Financing & Tax benefits for TASKA Sector to reduce costs of early childhood care and education
8. Parents as Quality ECCE Advocates & Quality Checkers through development of a more structured and standardized approach to positive parenting skills education
9. Recognise that, despite the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, these crucial years of education foundation necessitate a carefully scaled re-opening of taskas and tadikas, with relevant SOPs in place. If this is not provided for, the taska and the tadika sectors of the economy will collapse.

10. If the pandemic continues , alternatives to Taskas and Tadikas would be to actively upgrade and improve neighbourhood childcare places, especially in the low-cost housing areas as well as to subsidise the cost of operating these care places.

Additional Information:

Ref: Statement by the Child Cluster of the Civil Society Organisations

Translation

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