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Guide for Starting a Childcare Centre in Malaysia

 

What is a childcare centre?

In general, childcare mean education and care provided for young children. The term could also means supplemental care of children from birth to age eight years by persons other than parents. Hence, a childcare centre, as the name implies, is the place or business providing childcare services for working parents.
 

Why do people need childcare centre for their children?

Nowadays, a majority of families use childcare while parents are employed or engaged in other activities. In Malaysia, different types of childcare services are available for working parents. Ranging from a full-time babysitter (or foreign maid), retired family members (who is usually the grandparent) to childcare centre, Malaysia has a variety of childcare options.

Many programs or childcare services include an educational element like enrichment classes that will help the children to grow and learn. In addition, there are programs that include a parent component designed to educate parents through their participation in children’s activities. The mushrooming of childcare centres reflects the high demands of childcare services, especially in the big city. More and more realised the importance of having a good childcare service and many are willing to invest for the cause of better early childhood education.
 

A comprehensive guide for starting a childcare centre in Malaysia

Many people believe that investment in early childhood education is one of the good strategies in developing human capital, which in turn, is an important source of economic growth. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind when planning a new childcare centre.
 
1. Understand the requirements and procedures involved

Before starting the childcare centre, refer to the Guidelines for Setting-Up a Child Care Centre (Garis Panduan Prosedur Memproses Permohonan Penubuhan TASKA). This guideline will tell you anything you need to know about the guidelines, key forms and basic requirements and procedures set by the Department of Social Welfare (DSW), the Local Authority, Fire & Safety Department, and Health Department.
 
2. Brainstorm the following criteria, and decide

a) Which type of childcare centre

In Malaysia, childcare centres fall into four categories:

  • Government-owned childcare centres (Taska dalam komuniti since 2006)

MWFCD has been setting up community childcare centres in urban and rural areas to benefit low-income families in urban and rural area with quality childcare services. They receive assistance from the Federal Government of State Government. Families [who send their children to community childcare centres] would receive a monthly subsidy of RM180 per child if the family’s income is below RM2000 or RM1200 in urban and rural areas respectively. In addition to this, a grant of RM55, 000 will also be given to financially aid the establishment of a community childcare centre.

  • Workplace childcare centres

MWFCD also encourages the private sector to provide childcare facilities at the workplace for their employees. Incentives include 10% tax exemption on the cost of building the childcare centres for a period of 10 years.

Employers can find out more about the childcare centre tax incentives at PEMANDU and flexWorkLife.my tax incentives page.

  • Institution-based childcare centres with 10 children or more

It is usually established at the initiative of the private sector or Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). They receive 10 or more children in custody.

  • Home-based childcare centres with less than 10 children

Receive 4 to 9 children in custody and the childcare service is carried out in their own homes.

In the plantation sector, childcare services are provided free under the Standard Act, Minimum Housing and Workers Facilitation 1990, and being monitored by the Ministry of Human Resources.

a) Decide on the operational hours and fee structure of the centre.

b) Identify the location as well as the size and design of the centre.

c) Identify the source of fund.

d) Plan activities and curriculum for children at the childcare centre.
 
3. Understand the laws and regulations

In Malaysia, the Childcare Centre Act 1984 was passed to maintain the standards of childcare centres in the nation. The Act covers issues on registration; monitoring and inspection of the childcare centres; and protecting the interests and safety of the children [against any negligence and abuse]. The Childcare Centre Act 1984 has then been reviewed and passed by the Parliament, giving rise to the Childcare Centres (Amendment) Act 2007.

It is mandatory that all childcare centres must register with the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) or more popularly known as Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat Malaysia (JKM) under the Ministry of Women, Family, and Community Development (MWFCD). Please note that the MWFCD is responsible for the approval and establishment of childcare centres in the country whilst JKM acts as the main regulator and coordinator of Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE) programmes.
 
4. Incorporate your childcare centre

The next important step is to incorporate your childcare centre. If you are interested to venture the early childhood education sector, you can always contact 3E Accounting Malaysia to find out more about the standard procedures of company incorporation as well as the company registration packages that we offer.