You have the passion to educate young minds and starting your own preschool in Malaysia seems to be the best way of fulfilling that dream.
But just like every new venture, there are many things to consider when starting a preschool, from registering your school, finding the right location, planning your syllabus and fulfilling mandated guidelines.
Where do you even begin?
In this post, we’ll help to explain what you will need to start your own kindergarten in Malaysia.
Step 1: Know the Guidelines
First, it’s important that you set up a kindergarten according to the guidelines mandated in Malaysia.
Parents feel better about accredited kindergartens that follow the mandatory guidelines and serve to protect the well-being, safety, rights and health of their children.
Before you make plans, make sure you look through the Garis Panduan: Prosedur Memproses Permohonan Penubuhan Taska.
This document by Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat (JKM) contains the basic guidelines, procedures, requirements and forms you need to set up a safe preschool in Malaysia.
Once you’ve become familiar with these rules, build your plans around them.
Pay close attention to rules specifically made for preschools, such as:
- Student-Teacher Ratios
- Outlines for Balanced Meal Plan
- Activities with Parent Involvement
- The Dimensions of Your Premises
- Staff Member Requirements
Making plans based on the existing guidelines will help you avoid getting into issues later on.
You should also familiarise yourself with the Childcare Centre Act (Amendment) of 2007, as it goes through the registration, monitoring and inspection of childcare centres.
This will help you evaluate the current standards of your preschool and identify how you can improve before the problem comes about.
Step 2: Decide on The Type of Preschool
There are different kinds of preschools and kindergartens in Malaysia.
Depending on which type of preschool you wish to set up, it’s important to first identify your target audience, as different preschool education systems will appeal to different parents.
But before we get into that, first, understand the difference between a daycare centre (taska) and a kindergarten (tadika).
According to Malaysian governing bodies – a taska or a daycare is defined as:
A premise looking after 4 or more children, who come from more than one household and are under the age of 4, in exchange for a reward.
If the focus of your services is more on childcare, there are four kinds of taska you can set up:
1 – Government-owned Childcare Centres.
These centres are specifically built to provide low-income families in both urban and rural areas with quality childcare services.
Because of their target group, our government has set several grants and subsidies to encourage people to set up government-owned childcare centres:
- RM55,000 Grant for the construction of the daycare centres
- RM80,000 Grant for the renovation and facilities daycare centres in offices in efforts to support working parents
- RM120 Subsidy for every family with an income below RM2000 (Urban) or RM1200 (Rural)
2 – Workplace Childcare Centres
As of June 2020, PENJANA has been encouraging private businesses to set up childcare centres within their office buildings.
To support this act, the government is offering a 10% tax exemption on building costs for the next ten years.
With a growing market of working Malaysian parents, having a daycare in an office building will give you access to your target market.
3 – Institution-based Childcare Centres
Institution-based childcare centres are independent enterprises who care for 10 or more children in their premises.
They are run by private sectors and non-government organisations and they will have their own school building.
While the government does not give them any grants or incentives, these preschools have the freedom to organise their daycare centres without restrictions beyond the necessary guidelines.
4 – Home-based Childcare Centres
Home-based childcare centres is a childcare centre which receives less than 10 children into the home of one’s house.
On the other hand, Malaysian law defines tadika or kindergarten as:
A premise where preschool education is provided for 10 or more children between the age of 4-6 years old.
Tadikas are focused on the development of the child in areas such as social skills, academics, physical skills, spirituality, and creativity.
There are many kinds of kindergartens which all differ based on their teaching methodology.
Here are some of the most popular preschool methodologies in Malaysia:
Q-dees Link & Think: With over 25 years of experience and an award-winning methodology, Q-dees is an established household preschool brand in SEA.
By creating connections between logical and creative minds, the Link & Think methodology helps children grasp the bigger picture and become independent scholars with a global mindset.
Montessori: One of the most popular early childhood programmes. This methodology teaches your child how to learn independently through observation, mimicking and self-discovery.
Waldorf: This teaching style believes that a child’s learning should be focused on a child’s desire to explore, and their creative imagination. Hence, most of their lessons are play-based or movement-based activities.
Reggio Emilia: The child is in control of their learning in this early childhood course. Based on the child’s interest and capabilities, teachers will design a syllabus alongside their children to help them become more independent.
Step 3: Considerations of Starting a Preschool
After you’ve chosen the type of centre, it’s time to start planning and gathering your resources.
There’s a lot of things to set up to start up your preschool. If you’re worried about leaving anything out, here is a checklist of all the things you need to consider:
- Operational Hours and Fee Structure
- Size of premises should be within zoning laws and childcare licensing guidelines
- Permission should be granted by residents of surrounding areas if you’re setting up a home-based childcare centre
- School Curriculum and Activities
- You will need a clear learning philosophy
- Facilities, Equipment and Resources
- Staff Members
- Teachers should have at least a diploma in early childhood education and first aid training
- Student-Teacher Ratios
- Marketing Strategy
- SOPs, Policies and Other Procedures
Step 4: Registering Your Preschool
At this point, you’ve got everything you need to open your preschool centre.
The next step is to register your preschool or kindergarten under the Department of Social Welfare or Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat (JKM).
To go through the licensing process quickly, prepare these documents beforehand so that JKM can process them all at once:
- Approval of premises from the local authorities, fire & rescue department, and health department.
- Approval letters from related parties to JKM
- Layout plan of your preschool
- Activities schedule
- Food menu
- List of staff
When you register the name of your preschool, make sure it has the title taska or tadika at the beginning of your school’s name.
With your registration approved, the preschool license will last for five years.
However, approval letters for the local authorities, Fire & Rescue Department and the Health Department have to be renewed every year.
Shortcut Your Preschool Success: Start a Preschool Franchise
While it’s possible, starting a preschool from scratch carries a huge risk.
Parents want the best for their children and would be drawn towards proven preschool education systems.
A new preschool brand would require more time to build a reputation. Not to mention having to set up its own operating procedure, design teaching materials, marketing and on-going training for its staff.
Another option would be leveraging on the brand of a household preschool. The advantages a preschool operator receives with a preschool brand like Q-dees are:
- Trusted, long-standing brand.
- Complete, comprehensive syllabus and effective teaching methodology
- 360° support for training, operations and marketing
- Ready-made books, syllabus and teaching materials
- Secure SOPs and policies
It’s important to choose a franchise that aligns with your values.
This is where Q-dees comes in to help new preschool owners make their dream a reality.
With an experience of over 25 years in the market and a network of more than 200 preschools in Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar and the Philippines, Q-dees has nurtured over 200,000 children from all walks of life.
“84% of Malaysian parents chose branded preschools as opposed to non-branded preschools. Parents as consumers tend to form emotional ties with a particular trusted brand.”Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris
Start your preschool in Malaysia today with Q-dees: https://www.q-dees.com/franchise/
Whether you are starting your own preschool or a franchise, know this: Education empowers individuals.
Preschool owners contribute a lot into society by providing life-changing education that seeks to transform children into future leaders of tomorrow.
What are some questions you have about starting a preschool or kindergarten in Malaysia? Drop your comments below.
Don’t want the hassle of figuring out the ways to set up a kindergarten? Start your own kindergarten centre with our help at Q-dees.