IPOH, Dec 4 — The Perak government has established a task force to audit the establishment of childcare centres (taska) at workplaces to encourage the operation of childcare centres at workplaces in the public sector.

State Women, Family, Social Welfare, Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development Committee chairman Datuk Salbiah Mohamed said the initiative targeted all government offices, including district and land offices, district councils, corporations, institutions of higher learning and government hospitals.

“A notification regarding the matter has been distributed to all government departments along with the form on the establishment of childcare centres at public sector workplaces.

“Starting next year, the state government will mobilise this task force so that childcare centres can be set up at key offices. This is for the safety of the children and most importantly to give relief to working parents,” she said during the question and answer session at the Perak State Assembly sitting here today.

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Salbiah (BN-Temengor) was responding to a question from S. Wasanthee (PH-Hutan Melintang) regarding child abuse and neglect cases in Perak and whether the state government provided any incentives to encourage the establishment of childcare centres in factories, offices and shopping premises.

She said the state government, through the Social Welfare Department (JKM), held a “Jom Daftar TASKA” campaign and information session to encourage the establishment of childcare centres at factories and shopping premises.

“Through this campaign, the factory or supermarket management will be informed about the criteria and conditions that need to be followed before they can start the operation of childcare centres at the workplace,” she added.

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According to Salbiah, there were 332 cases of child abuse and neglect reported in Perak in 2020 and the number increased to 370 cases the following year.

The number further increased last year, recording a total of 532 cases, but there was a significant decrease with only 168 cases recorded as of November this year, she added.

She said the increase in the number of child abuse and neglect cases in 2021 and 2022, which were during the enforcement of the movement control order (MCO), was due to the pressure and difficult life facing some people during the period. — Bernama