A new year, a new Malaysia that will start enforcing regulations on childcare centres and its employees has come. In light of the recent news in which our Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah stated that the ‘Working with Children Check’ will be ready by March, let’s dive into why this was a much needed step to be taken.
The numbers of reports of childcare workers abusing the trust parents placed on them to keep their children’s best interest their highest priority while they were away at work reached an all time high in 2018 at 199 cases up to August. More followed suit, and many ended with lives taken.
This has sparked heated discussions: Why is this happening so frequently? How did these ‘child carers’ get hired? The answer is simple: nobody was screening these people to see if they are qualified.
With no means of meeting the increase in demands for childcare centres, desperation enabled countless of unregistered childcare centres to operate freely and go unchecked. It was revealed in the statistics gathered by the Welfare Department that out of the 16,873 available childcare workers, only 3,173 of those are qualified while a staggering number of 13,700 carers are not.
To say it is concerning would be an understatement but hopefully with the first step taken into having a proper system to regulate and monitor all those working in childcare will have Malaysia seeing less of reports of abuse and negligence.
With that being said, this does not mean we should stop keeping a vigilant eye on the existing childcare centres. A routine screening of existing employees of registered childcare establishments should be implemented to ensure that no one unsavory managed to slip through the cracks of the pre-hire screenings. Continuous screenings will prove to be an important preventive measure in stopping such incidents from recurring. It is never too safe to be sure.
Until then, find out more on how background screenings can help to protect the safety of our children by visiting www.verityintel.com.