You’re probably a parent looking for the best child care or day care center in Malaysia near you. Well, you’re not alone.
Many parents these days both have full-time or part-time jobs; making it a challenge for them to raise their children without one of them compromising their job.
If this sounds like the situation you are in, it’s probably time to consider sending your children to a day care center.
Day care centres are nurturing, homely environments for young children.
In this article, we will be sharing:
- What is a day care center?
- When is day care a suitable option for your child?
- Tips for choosing the best day care centre for your child in Malaysia.
What’s the difference between daycare, preschool and kindergarten?
These days, the lines between daycare, preschool and kindergarten are blurred. This is because most early childhood centers in Malaysia offer all three services for children.
However, it is still important to know the difference because each institution has a different educational approach for children of different ages.
Day Care, Nursery or Taska
Sometimes also known as a taska or a nursery, a day care center is a safe, secure place where children, aged 12 months to 4 years, would be taken care of by qualified caretakers.
Caretakers at day care centers will attend to your children’s daily needs: including feeding, dressing and toileting. They also give them opportunities for imaginative and creative play.
Caretakers provide educational opportunities as well. Children will learn basic ABCs and 123s, but most of their education will be focused on their verbal, sensorial and cognitive development. This includes life skills such as putting on clothes and using the toilet.
Preschool, Kindergarten or Tadika
Preschool is for children aged 3 to 6 and includes more educational classes in their early childhood curriculum.
These classes are taught through hands-on exploration and games. Reading and writing classes will also become more prevalent in their curriculum as the children grow up.
Through hands-on, interactive learning, children will be able to link the academic and creative minds, setting them up to prepare for primary or elementary school.
This is exactly what the Q-dees Link & Think methodology does. Learn more about how the Link & Think methodology can help your child.
Why should I send my child to a day care center in Malaysia?
While the main reason that you are considering day care might be because your child will be cared for in your absence, a day care center can help with your child development as well.
Toddlers learn through physical exploration and develop skills by playing. It might look like just play, but they are hard at work developing important skill sets such as motor skills, muscle control, coordination and balance.
Sending your child to day care would provide them with an opportunity to be exposed to sensory-rich experiences, physical activities and ample opportunities to interact with their surroundings at their own pace.
Once your child has a perceptive awareness of their surroundings, they can move on to abstract concepts such as letters and numbers easily.
Day care centres are also prime social places for your child, because it allows them to interact with other children their age, developing social skill sets.
How to Choose the Best Day Care Center in Malaysia for Your Child
What makes a day care center ideal? Here are some factors to consider:
1 – Home-based vs Institutional
There are two usual types of day care centers in Malaysia: Home-based day care centers and institutional day care centers.
Home day care centers are independent centers located in a caretaker’s home. They are usually run by one to three caretakers who manage a mixed-age group of 10 children or less.
With its personal and homely environment, home day care provides:
- A small teacher-student ratio that brings more focus and attention to your child.
- A familiar environment that is comforting for your child.
- Flexible working hours that suit your schedule.
However, home-based day care centres can lose out with:
- Weaker security measures and standard operating procedures (SOP).
- Limited educational opportunities with no defined curriculum.
Institutional day care centers are run and managed by established organisations. They have a staff of caretakers who manage classes formed based on the child’s age group.
Since institutional day care centres have access to more resources, they bring in benefits such as:
- Structured and organised child development syllabus.
- Trained caretakers and teachers.
- More educational opportunities and enrichment activities.
- Advanced security systems.
But some disadvantages could be:
- Less flexible operating hours.
- Higher fees with the benefits provided.
2 – Location and Time of the day care center
As a busy parent, it would be convenient for you to choose a day care centre that’s closest to your workplace. Traffic and commute time between the day care centre, your home and workplace should be taken into consideration.
Choose a day care center with flexible working hours if you have unpredictable work schedules. On top of that, consult the day care center to find a drop-off and pick-up time that works best for you. Make sure to ask if they offer after-work services.
Additionally, some day care centres also offer holiday programs, which can be a healthy activity for your child.
3 – Licencing and Registration
Unfortunately, not every day care centre in Malaysia is licenced. Some may even have untrained caretakers.
According to the Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat (JKM), day care centres should be aligned with the nation’s health, welfare and safety guidelines to ensure the safety of the children.
When you visit a day care center, ask about the qualifications of the caretakers and teachers who will be looking after your child.
4 – Safety and Security in the day care center
One of the biggest worries of any parent is the safety of their child, especially in public places.
To calm your worries, take a good look around the day care center and enquire about their security and safety SOPs when you visit.
Some things to look out for in a day care center is the level security they have implemented, such as security access, CCTV cameras and having a visitor policy system.
The environment should also be safe from all hazards that may endanger a child. For example, round tables should be preferred over rectangular tables with sharp edges that children could bump into.
Other examples include putting plastic plugs into unused electrical sockets and the absence of non-toxic or small materials that can be easily digested.
First aid kits should be easily accessible and teachers should have basic first-aid training for emergencies should a child need it.
5 – Meals Provided in the day care center
Nutrition is a vital part of your child’s growth. Hence, a day care centre needs to provide healthy, well-balanced and nutritious meals.
Most day care centers provide meals during lunchtime, but some day cares provide alternative options for fussy eaters or those have specific meal requirements.
Ask about the food that will be served to children and request for a sample menu if possible. Make sure to inform the day centre if your child has allergic reactions to certain types of foods.
6 – Cleanliness and Health Regulations
Toddlers are more vulnerable to illnesses and diseases, as their immune system is still undergoing development. This is why day care centers should be strict with cleanliness and health regulations.
Ask about the day care’s sanitary procedures and practices. Look around the classroom to check if they regularly clean the premises where children frequently come in contact with.
Do they teach children about developing good cleanliness habits, such as washing their hands?
Day care centres should have clear SOPs not just for the centre but for parents as well. If a child falls sick, some day care centres will require the child to rest at home and get well before returning to school. This avoids the sickness to spread to other children, including yours.
Some day care centers have health entry requirements for enrolment such as having your child vaccinated for certain diseases.
7 – Parenting Philosophies
Every day care center has their own parenting style and teaching philosophy. Because toddlers learn by imitating adults, you should find a day care center whose teaching and child-raising styles are similar to yours.
As you visit the day care centre, ask the teachers about their early childhood philosophy, activities and how they handle different situations.
For example: How would a teacher handle an argument or fight between two kids? Will the teacher reprimand both of them or hear both sides out before acting?
8 – Communication
Unless your child can talk, the caretakers are your main source of information. They will be the ones who update you about your child’s activities and development progress.
Good caretakers should be observant and regularly communicate important updates with you, such as:
- The activities your child participated in.
- What your child has accomplished at day care.
- Which areas they need to improve on.
- How your child can continue to improve at home.
However, you must understand that a caretaker has many children to look after. So gently prompt them for updates on your child at the end of the day.
Final Thoughts on Choosing the Right Day Care Center in Malaysia
There are many factors to consider when choosing a day care centre for your child.
But most importantly, take the time to do some research on the day care centers near you and evaluate your options based on the factors we have explained above.
It’s always recommended to visit a few day care centres and get a feel of the place before making a decision.
Find out if the Q-dees center near you provides day care services and arrange a visit at: https://www.q-dees.com/starters/find-a-centre