Parents must also comply with SOPs

Children observing physical distancing in class.

KUCHING: The responsibility of safeguarding children’s health and safety does not lie with the taska (childcare centres) and tadika (kindergartens) operators alone but with the parents as well.

This was pointed out by Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.

She said while childcare facilities and early childhood education institutions were observing all standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure the safety of the children, parents who were outside or working must always comply with the SOPs to curb the spread of Covid-19.

“Childcare centres and kindergartens which are allowed to operate during the conditional movement control order (CMCO) period in the state have taken all the measures to comply with the SOPs.

“At the same time, we also want parents to follow the SOPs. To break the transmission chain, we need the cooperation of all – operators and parents — in following the SOPs,” she said after conducting spot checks at three childcare facilities and early childhood education institutions here yesterday (May 18).

Children washing their hands before class.

Fatimah said operators, staff and educators must take care and follow the SOPs wherever needed when they were off duty.

“We must do away with the ‘3L’ — leka, lupa, lalai (careless, forgetful, and negligent).

“All must be responsible. Only with that can we look after the safety of the children under our care or responsibility,” she said.

Fatimah added that there were children whose parents were frontliners and essential services workers.

These parents needed a support system when they worked.

“They have requested for the childcare centres and early childhood education institutions to operate so we give them the permission to operate.

“But, prior to the operations, these operators must still apply from the ministry for record and monitoring purposes.”

Staff sanitising the children’s school bags.

After the spot checks, Fatimah said she was happy with the SOPs compliance by the childcare centres and early childhood education institutions.

“The staff make sure parents scan the MySejahtera QR code, make sure the children wash their hands, check their temperatures, wear face masks, observe physical distancing and sanitise their school bags.  

“Children at this young age already understand what physical distance is,” she said.