Errant childcare centres to face the music

Hakim Hayat

Childcare centres found not operating with a valid licence can be charged under Section 3, Childcare Centre Act, Chapter 218, where if found guilty, the offender can be fined BND5,000 or serve two years’ jail or both.

This was revealed during a two-day training workshop for the national food and physical activity guideline for childcare centres in Brunei organised by the Health Promotion Centre (HPC) of the Ministry of Health (MoH) in collaboration with the Community Development Department (JAPEM) at the HPC in Commonwealth Drive yesterday.

The workshop is being organised in phases, where the first group attended the workshop earlier this month.

Thirty owners of childcare centres registered with JAPEM under the Childcare Centre Act 2006 attended the workshop. JAPEM Assistant Director Siti Zahrah binti Haji Abdul Razak was also present.

The workshop is a follow-up action to the Committee of Multisectoral Taskforce for Health to coordinate five main issues in managing non-communicable diseases (NCDs), where one of them is in giving every child the best start in life. The committee also established a national guideline for food and physical activities for childcare centres in Brunei Darussalam.

The workshop also aims to spread awareness on the guidelines that among others stipulates the need for hygienic, nutritious, balanced and safe preparation and handling of food. The guideline is hoped to encourage the practice of healthy diet and physical activities that can be inculcated among children, that can be prolonged to their adulthood.

It also allows participants to exchange experience, knowledge and current practices implemented in their centres.

The HPC also hopes that childcare centre owners and parents can work together in inculcating a healthy lifestyle among children at an early age.

Representatives of all childcare centres are required to attend the workshop, as part of a compulsory criteria for their grading. The grading is a joint initiative between the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and MoH, as well as relevant agencies to ensure centres provide better and quality services in ensuring a conducive environment for child development.