Parents delighted as child care centres re-open

Syazwani Hj Rosli & Wani Roslan

Despite the announcement on the re-opening of child care centres last Saturday, only a few of them began operations yesterday while the rest remain closed.

Parents said they are delighted as they are able to send their children to the centres.

“As working parents, it is challenging for us when all child care centres are closed.

Alhamdulillah, the centre where my child was attending has been updating us on its preparation for re-opening,” said Nurul Fa’adzilah binti Matnil.

She said she has been sending her child to the centre for five years since, her child was three-month-old.

“We are concerned about the childrens safety. We take care of our child by bathing her before sending her and after picking her up from the centre,” she added.

Another parent, Liyana binti Lamat said, “It has been difficult for us for the past three months with no schooling and child care centres being closed. My husband and I have to take turns to take care of our child at home.”

“It is a real struggle for us. I believe that all centres will comply with the guidelines and standard operating procedures set by the government,” she added.

Staff and students at a child care centre. PHOTO: SYAZWANI HJ ROSLI

Laila binti Mohamad, a mother of two, said most working parents would welcome the reopening of the centres.

“I feel relieved with how our country is handling the pandemic. I have no problems sending my children back to the centre. I am also concerned about their safety and will only send my children if there is nobody to look after them at home,” she said.

She said she places high hopes on child care centres to follow the standard operating procedures set by the government.

Director of Kinder Kollege in Kampong Beribi, Laysa Lediea binti Haji Maidin said they conducted preparations prior to its re-opening.

“We have been sanitising everything within the facility including toys, tables, chairs, beds, utensils and floors. Cleaning is done periodically and have rearranged items to make more space inside and outside the facility as well as putting social-distancing marks,” she said.

According to her, the facility operates at a reduced capacity of 30 per cent as advised by the Community Development Department (JAPEM) in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. However, they are only accepting children aged over one who do not have fever, cold and other high risk infections.

“There are some parents who are upset because we are not able to accept their children due to the capacity limitation. However, there are also parents who are still worried to send their children and postponed their kids re-admission to a later date (phase 2),” she added.

Laysa Lediea has also implemented new sanitation practices among the staff and children which include temperature checks, the use of sanitisers, BruHealth scans, reducing playtime, taking turns during lunch time, donning face shields and masks, regular hand wash and drinking water regularly.

“We hope this pandemic will end soon so that everyone will be able to conduct their daily activities as usual. We also hope everyone stays calm and follows the rules and advice from the Ministry of Health, to get updated with the current news from trusted sources, to conduct self-evaluation regularly and improve self-care practices,” said Laysa Lediea.

Owner of Little Bloom DayCare Suzana Sakinah binti Haji Sharbini expressed her gratitude to the government for the re-opening of the centres. “We followed the Community Development Department (JAPEM) regulations to ensure our re-opening was smooth despite the limited slots we could offer,” she said.

In terms of preparation, she shared the daycare has prepared a business continuity plan (BCP) in combatting the pandemic which includes weekly cleaning of the premises, registering to BruHealth and placing measures for social distancing. “We also made sure that our branches in Sungai Hanching and Sungai Akar sanitise equipment, toys and material. We have rearranged furniture to adhere to physical distancing guidelines.

“We monitor temperature checks for the staff and children, provide ventilation for air quality, provide face masks to caretakers and educate the children on the use of hand sanitisers,” she said.