Sunday, September 19

Childhood education, care institutions monitored for SOP compliance – PPBS

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Ministry of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development in collaboration with PPBS as well as various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Sarawak is to maintain, update and implement strict SOPs for early childhood education and care institutions.

KUCHING (Sept 1): The implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for early childhood education and care institutions is strictly monitored and constantly reviewed and updated to ensure that the children are safe from Covid-19, said Association of Registered Childcare Providers Sarawak (PPBS).

Its president Ng Lee Boon said this is currently conducted by the Ministry of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development in collaboration with PPBS as well as various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Sarawak.

She added that the ministry had also sent their respective officers in charge to inspect and monitor the situation at registered childcare centres, adding that regular spot checks at the centres were being conducted to ensure the SOPs are being implemented.

In addition, she said the ministry also works closely with the NGOs to review and refine the SOPs when deemed necessary.

“We would like to extend our appreciation to our respected state Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah and the teams for being proactive and for her diligent efforts to collaborate with our association.

“We would like to thank the state government and her ministry for the grant given to registered childcare centres as financial assistance to cope with increasing expenses due to SOP (compliance), especially on cleaning and disinfecting cost. The grant also helps to reduce childcare operators’ financial burden to sustain their centre during this difficult time,” she said in a statement yesterday.

Ng said PPBS is also working closely with its district associations and registered childcare centres to ensure the SOPs are effectively implemented and developing an efficient action plan to manage the centres during the pandemic.

With the spike in the number of cases and the existence of highly contagious variants such as the Delta variant, she pointed out that early childhood institutions are struggling even more to create a safer environment for the children.

As such, she expressed her belief that the vaccination and strict SOP compliance are the way forward against Covid-19, adding that the ministry had effortlessly and effectively ensured that all staff members of registered childcare centres and parents are vaccinated.

As of yesterday, she added, almost all registered childcare providers and their support staff had been fully vaccinated.

She also said that various measures have been taken and all registered childcare providers have tried their best to overcome this crisis, and that PPBS members consisting of mostly registered childcare providers and operators have continuously supported each other through discussions, sharing and developing course of action to be taken – in case there are close contacts or positive cases among the childcare centre community.

“No doubt there are still many who are wondering whether the childcare centres are safe enough for the young children – however, based on the statistics of the current situation even staying at home is not 100 per cent safe.

“When an early childhood education and institution is closed, some parents will be burdened, leaving them with no choice but to bring their children along to the office or ending up sending their child to unregistered childcare centre or nanny.

“These alternatives will incur greater risk to these young children as there are definitely no SOPs implemented compared to the ones that have been specifically designed for all registered childcare centres to comply,” she added.