Psychological effects of sending children to unlicensed daycare centers

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KUALA LUMPUR: Sending your child to daycare can be a difficult call for parents to take.

But don’t throw caution to the wind when it comes to unregistered daycares, babysitters or nurseries. Several factors have been shown to have emotional, psychological and growth effects on children in their care compared to registered operators.

Sharing her perspective on these factors, SEGI University child psychologist Prof Datin, Dr Mariani Md Nor, cited the attributes of a good daycare as providing a conducive, clean and safe physical environment, including more to have in place a systematic program of daily activities for growth of the child.

She said the food menu will influence a child’s eating habits. Therefore, child care centers should provide children with enough safe and nutritious food to meet their individual energy and nutrient needs.

At the same time, Dr Mariani said all registered caregivers should adhere to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) set by the Department of Social Welfare (JKM) to ensure a safe and healthy environment for the children in their care. keep.

She said that “the scenario is definitely different from that of unregistered childminders, daycares and nurseries, as they are not tied to any SOPs or regulations.”

“There is no doubt that there are good childminders who are experienced and trained in early childhood education, but it all depends on ‘luck’.

“Alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah), if there are parents who hire the services of these childminders. Indirectly, this could minimize the risk of harm to their children.

“However, in an unfavorable environment, without health and safety guidelines in place in the premises of unregistered caregivers, the physical and emotional well-being of the child as well as the social aspect will certainly be different”, a- she told Bernama in an exclusive interview recently. .

Dr Mariani, who is also chairman of the Council for Early Childhood Education and Care (EECC), said psychological effects can be seen from the child’s holistic growth.

In an unfavorable physical learning environment in unregistered daycares or kindergartens, children may be unable to socialize and develop general skills.

“This is further compounded by the lack of activities for their age such as exchanging opinions, making decisions, including accepting ‘lose and win’ situations that should be taught in a more educational system. systematic, ”she said.

Such a situation, she said, would certainly influence a child’s developmental process, especially when the young quarter is fed with food (if this happens) that could affect their physical growth.

According to Dr Mariani, in a licensed daycare and nursery, the risks of abuse could be minimized because childminders must take the PERMATA course on early childhood care and education or Kursus Asuhan PERMATA (KAP).

“This course serves as a guide for caregivers in the process of caring for children in their care, with modules for better quality education that incorporate all elements of empathy and a high degree of patience.

“In unregistered nurseries and nurseries there is a risk that anyone could be hired regardless of their origin, without any regulations stipulating that the nanny must have a certain certificate or qualification to take care of the child. ‘children,’ she noted.

Meanwhile, Dr Mariani said that childminders who abuse children in their care are under existing stress or pressure.

The problem is further compounded by protracted issues that go unresolved, as well as a lack of support from family and friends, which makes the pressure of caring for a child overwhelming and can lead to abuse.

She said children who are typically active, energetic and aggressive could be a “time bomb” for the caregiver, triggering episodes of child abuse, and worse yet, uncontrollable pressure killings.

She said most studies conducted locally and abroad have found that a high percentage of child abuse cases are due to stress as well as other related issues.

“Children who have been abused may grow up as abusers and become aggressive, depending on the extent of the abuse they have suffered.

“They can also become passive, not easily trusting others, lacking self-confidence and having low self-esteem,” she said.

Therefore, said Dr Mariani, it is important that every childminder is provided with parenting skills and early childhood education, which serve to prepare young people to become physically, mentally and spiritually balanced adults, thus opening up the way to leadership.

“Knowledge about child care can help shape their future. Childminders are like parents during the day (when parents are at work), so it is important that everyone who cares for the child is endowed with this knowledge to ensure the child’s growth. is on the right track.

“Childminders who are responsible for caring for children need to have a sense of belonging and compassion,” she added.

Meanwhile, the strong demand from parents and guardians for an immediate and easy solution to their childcare problems has also contributed to the proliferation of unregistered operators,

Shahida Musa, a member of the Malaysian Council for Child Welfare (MKKM) executive committee, told Bernama that nurseries are also sought after by working parents due to marital issues, such as divorce, violence. domestic and financial problems.

She said that in addition to the exorbitant fees imposed by licensed daycares or nurseries, there are also parents who are egocentric and do not care about the well-being of the child, which is why they leave their children behind. under the care of authorized operators.

This, she said, also contributed to the emergence of such premises, “like mushrooms after the rain.”

At the same time, there are also nurseries that operate with public donations, she added.

Shahida said that due to the high demand for nurseries, there are operators who have ulterior motives or are motivated by profit, opened their premises earlier before submitting their requests to JKM.

At the same time, some of these operators have even received various facilities or recognitions from the local community due to their charitable work in addition to obtaining financial support for their operations.

“With an abundance of funds in their coffers generated by public contributions, these operators have turned a blind eye to the rules and regulations or relevant laws that they must comply with,” she said, adding that these centers should acquire relevant knowledge related to aspects of childcare and health care, as well as day care administration and financial management.

According to the JKM website, a child is defined as a person under the age of 18, according to the Children’s Act 2001 (AKK 2001).

Child protection refers to strategies and activities aimed at protecting children from neglect, abuse, violence and exploitation against children.

Neglect refers to the persistent and severe inability to meet basic physical, emotional and developmental needs in terms of health, education, emotional development, nutrition, shelter and a safe life for children. Neglect can expose children to all kinds of dangers, including life-threatening dangers.

Child abuse is defined as any potential risk that a child will be physically, sexually, emotionally harmed or neglected in terms of proper care, supervision and safety. Child abuse includes physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect.

According to AKK 2001, physical abuse occurs when a child is physically injured if there is a substantial and observable injury to any part of the child’s body as a result of the non-accidental application of force or an agent on the child’s body.

Emotional abuse occurs when a child is emotionally injured if there is a substantial and observable alteration in the child’s mental or emotional functioning.

Sexual abuse occurs when a child is sexually assaulted if he has taken part, as a participant or observer, in any activity of a sexual nature for any purpose.

Violence against children refers to all forms of physical or mental violence, injury and abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, mistreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse.

Exploitation of a child refers to the use of the child in work or other activities for the benefit of others and to the detriment of the physical and mental health, development and education of the child. child.-Bernama


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