Make checks on job seekers at childcare centres compulsory, group says

Association of Registered Childcare Providers Malaysia president Norsheila Abdullah said this would help protect children under the care of such centres and encourage better standards. — AFP pic
Association of Registered Childcare Providers Malaysia president Norsheila Abdullah said this would help protect children under the care of such centres and encourage better standards. — AFP pic

PETALING JAYA, Oct 31 — A mandatory background check on prospective employees seeking jobs at childcare centres is needed to make full use of the child exploitation criminal record, said a childcare association.

Association of Registered Childcare Providers Malaysia president Norsheila Abdullah said this would help protect children under the care of such centres and encourage better standards.

“For now we are only able to advise members of the need to conduct a background check, but it is at their discretion to do so,” she said.

“A mandatory system to check potential candidates would build confidence with parents and childcare employers that those at their centres have been checked and vetted.”

Norsheila said the industry was currently dependant on personal recommendations for hiring of childcare employees.

“For instance, if one of my staff left without notice and turned up at another centre whose owner knows me, they would get in touch and I would be able to tell them what happened,” she said.

“There is no communication network or system in place to keep track of such people. A system or database of employees and their movements will be useful to us.”

Norsheila said transforming the industry’s image into a recognised and accredited profession would be one way to help solve these problems and encourage employers to use the facility.

“Ideally we need dedicated staff who see this as a professional career path, and not as a stepping stone before finding work elsewhere or as part-time income.”

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