Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Brunei Town

Childcare centres ready to welcome back little tykes

Rokiah Mahmud

Little Bear Childcare Centre employee Nor Hafidah binti Abdul Jaya yesterday said the centre is making preparations prior to re-opening of Child Care Centres (CCC).

She said the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) announcement regarding the re-opening of CCCs was “welcoming news.”

“The centres have not been in operation since the second COVID-19 outbreak in August last year,” Nor Hafidah said.

The MCYS announced the re-opening of the CCCs during a press conference on January 4. The re-opening will be conducted in phases during the early Endemic Phase of COVID-19 Recovery Framework from January 17.

The decision was made based on an online survey involving nearly 11,500 parents, a majority of whom agreed that CCCs should re-open.

Nor Hafidah said the re-opening will ease the burden on working parents, while generating an income for centres that have been impacted by measures set in place by the authorities to curb the COVID-19 transmission.

Little Bear Childcare Centre has made thorough preparations, fully complying with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guideline measures, she said.

“At the same time, the centre will ensure that all employees are fully vaccinated. They will need to do the antigen rapid test (ART) prior to coming to the centre. Additionally, we will also need to perform the ART on children coming to the centre as part of efforts to curb the transmission of the virus,” she said.

“We will sanitise the centre prior to re-opening and have children practise physical distancing to ensure greater safety. Daycare centres must at all times ensure their surroundings and interior are clean. We will also provide dry and wet tissues, hand sanitisers and disinfectants at all our premise areas, while the equipment and tools to be cleaned and sanitised before and after use.” Nor Hafidah said.

“In the event an individual contracts COVID-19, the centre will immediately be closed. All employees and children will be instructed to do the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab test. We also seek parents’ cooperation in observing their children’s health – if they have fever, flu or cough.

“Parents will also need to be fully vaccinated and scan the QR code before entering the premises. Only the green and yellow coded will be allowed to enter the centre. They will also be required to wear a face mask at all times and adhere to the SOPs,” Nor Hafidah said.

Meanwhile, Norafiqah binti Haji Rosli, a mother of an 11-year-old and two toddlers, said the daycare centre re-opening announcement is “good news to working parents.”

“Many of us have to resume working at the office, and it has been difficult. We have had to ask our parents to take care of our toddlers, but this is not a feasible option in the long run. This is exactly what working parents need, albeit us having our doubts. I do feel awful at the thought of sending my toddlers to daycare amid the pandemic. It’s been a struggle,” she said.

“It may be impossible for toddlers to practice social distancing, because that is just not how they are.

“I would suggest that daycare centres divide their space by rearranging the furniture in each room to allow children to distance themselves from one another. I would also strongly advise these centres to conduct disinfection regularly to maintain a clean and safer environment for the children,” she said.