Although nurseries and child care centres have been allowed to reopen following the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) today, most operators say they are only ready to start operations on a small scale starting next week.
A Bernama survey in the Pandan Indah, Setapak, Cheras and Ampang areas found that most child care entrepreneurs did not want to rush and needed time to make specific preparations according to the guidelines set by the National Security Council (MKN) first.
Instead, most of them are busily engaged in thoroughly cleaning and sanitising their premises.
Taska Nur Bistari owner Siti Salwani Suhaimi said they give priority to parents who have to work during the CMCO especially children of frontline workers.
“Currently we are in the process of cleaning and disinfecting the premises and nursery equipment. In addition, to reconfiguring the nursery and putting up signs and box markings on the floor to maintain social spacing of children.
“To comply with the social distancing, nurseries can only receive no more than 15 children per day and it depends on the application by parents who want to send their children,” she told Bernama.
Siti Salwani said she believes in the current situation nursery services should be a social support and not be motivated by business and profit alone.
“That’s why I don’t care even if the children being cared for are less than the usual 40 children per day. I do not want over crowding and we understand that everyone is also worried about the spread of COVID-19,” she said.
According to the owner of Taska Didik Khalifah, Nurul Hannah Wahab, the nursery will take in a small number of children starting from May 13 besides shortening the operating hours from 7 am to 6 pm instead of the usual 8 pm.
“We are operating to facilitate parents who need child-care services due to their work demands. Parents who can take leave or work from home are not encouraged to send their children,” she said.
“An early census is also being conducted to determine the number of children who will be coming to facilitate the management of the nursery for social spacing. If there are children of frontline workers we will take note of their records and separate them to do activities planned upstairs,” he added. .
According to the NSC, the nursery operator, teachers as well as other staff members and children must be screened before/ during/ and after operating hours for COVID-19, while the premises must be cleaned and disinfected.
In addition, teachers and staff must be trained on hygiene practices and safety measures.