Early Childhood Education Course Malaysia
We believe that early childhood education course (ECE) or also known as early childhood and care education (ECCE) (Pengasuhan dan Pendidikan Awak Kanak-kanak – T982-001-3:2017) & Preschool Teaching (Pendidikan Pra Sekolah – ET-012-3:2012) is a good choice, as a recession-proof career or business.
There is always a need
In a good economy, people send their children to preschool and early childhood education centre because they have some disposable income and have a need for child care and be educated, regardless of whether or not they’re a dual-income family. Conversely, if the economy is in a downturn, families that may not have been dual-income earners may suddenly need full-time child care due to a parent returning to the workforce. So the bottom line is, there is always a need.
The ability to grow regardless of the state of the economy
Not only is early childhood education and care a recession-proof business, but it also offers excellent growth opportunities. If you work hard to be found by parents searching for exceptional early childhood education and care, and give them a reason to entrust you with their children, then you will always be successful.
Early childhood care and education (ECCE)
In Malaysia, it is divided into two age groups, which is 0-4 years and 4-6 years old.
The first group (0-4 years), comes under the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (MWFCD) which coordinates national programmes on the growth and development of children. Through its Department of Social Welfare, MWFCD keeps a register of all childcare centres (also known as taska) in the country.
Pre-school education for the second group (4-6 years) comes under three ministries/agencies, i.e. the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development, and the National Unity Department.
The Malaysian government places a strong emphasis on early childhood care and education (ECCE) and has formulated the National Policy for Early Childhood Education. Under this policy, programs have been introduced to meet the diverse needs of the crucial early years of newborns until the age of six. These programmes provide a solid foundation for healthy growth and development which expose them to activities in nation-building and enhance their readiness for primary school education. The government’s involvement in early childhood care and education (ECCE) is evident from its numerous initiatives to make early childhood programmes more accessible especially for less fortunate children and those in rural areas. A significant amount of funds is also allocated for early childhood care and education (ECCE) every year.
Types of early childhood education and care Institutions
ECCE programmes in Malaysia are offered by two types of institutions, namely:
- Childcare centres or nurseries or taska
- Preschools or kindergartens or tadika
(A) Childcare Centres or Nurseries (Taska)
Childcare Centre Act 1984 has been reviewed and passed by the Parliament giving rise to the Childcare Centres (Amendment) Act 2007. Government-supported community childcare centres, subsidised workplace childcare centres and Quality Improvement Accreditation System (QIAS) have also being implemented.
In Malaysia, a legislative-approved childcare centre is defined as a premise at which four or more children under the age of four years from more than one household are received to be looked after for reward.
Childcare centres in Malaysia fall into four categories:
- Government-owned childcare centres (Taska dalam komuniti since 2006)
- Workplace childcare centres
- Institution-based childcare centres with 10 children or more
- Home-based childcare centres with fewer than 10 children
Under the law, all childcare centres need to be registered with the Department of Social Welfare (DSW) or more popularly known as Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat Malaysia (JKM) under the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (MWFCD). MWFCD is responsible for the approval and establishment of childcare centres in the country whilst JKM serves as the main regulator and coordinator of ECCE programmes.
In the plantation sector, childcare centres are provided free under the Standard Act, Minimum Housing and Workers Facilitation 1990 and monitored by the Ministry of Human Resources.
Categories of Childcare Centres
- Workplace Childcare Centres
With more and more women are engaged in active employment, MWFCD has been promoting the setting up of childcare at the workplace. For example, the government provides incentives in the form of a RM80,000 grant for the renovation and furnishing of childcare centres set up within government offices. Also, to encourage working mothers to utilise these centres, a subsidy of RM180 per month is given to government servants with monthly salaries below RM2000 who send their children to these centres.
MWFCD also encourages the private sector to provide childcare facilities at the workplace for their employees. Incentives include 10% tax exemption on the cost of building the childcare centres for a period of 10 years.
- Community Childcare Centres
MWFCD has been setting up community childcare centres in urban and rural areas with the objective of providing quality childcare services that is more accessible and affordable to the local community. It aims to set up 10 new community childcare centres throughout the country every year. The centres use a curriculum set by MWFCD and is based on the active participation of the local community, parents, children, governmental agencies as well as private organisations. MWFCD has also proposed that every parliamentary area set up a community childcare centre.
Families who send their children to community childcare centres would receive a monthly subsidy of RM180 per child if the family’s income is below RM2000 or RM1200 in urban and rural areas respectively. A grant of RM55,000 will also be given to those interested in setting up a community childcare centre.
- Permata Negara Early Childhood Education and Care Centres
The Permata Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) programme was initiated by YABhg. Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor and was introduced after it was approved by the Cabinet on 21 June 2006 with a grant of RM20 million. Themed ‘Every Child a Jewel’ (Setiap Anak Permata), the Permata Negara pilot project was launched at 14 locations in 2006, with at least one in each state- with the curriculum and teacher training spearheaded by Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris.
(B) Pre-schools or Kindergartens (Tadika) for children aged 4 to 6
Early childhood education for children aged 4-6 years comes under three ministries, i.e. the Ministry of Education; the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development; and the Department of National Unity. The pioneer in the setting up of preschools is the Ministry of Rural Development which began in the early 1970’s. There are currently 8307 preschools set up by this ministry which are commonly known as the KEMAS preschool. KEMAS preschools are located in rural or suburban areas and are set up based on requests by local authorities.
Under the Department of National Unity, PERPADUAN preschools were established in urban areas where ‘Rukun Tetangga’ (a friendly neighbourhood scheme) existed. At present, there are 1496 PERPADUAN preschools. In 1992, the Ministry of Education (MOE) started setting up preschools as an annex to existing primary schools through a pilot project. This was extended to the entire nation in 1993 and currently, there are about 5905 of such preschools. Other providers of preschool education include also the State Religious Department and ABIM (Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia).
|Table 1.1 : The Three Main Types of Public Preschools in Malaysia (as at 2007)|
|Types of preschool||KEMAS preschools||MOE preschools||PERPADUAN preschools|
|Number of classes||8307 classes||5905 classes||1496 classes|
|Percentage (by class)||52.9%||37.9%||9.5%|
Categories of Preschool Providers
Ministry of Education Preschools
- Preschools are set up by MOE to increase accessibility to preschool education for families with very low income in sub-urban, rural and remote areas. Eighty per cent of such preschools are built in rural areas as an annex to existing public primary schools and caters to children from the age of 5 years. MOE also provides the following subsidies:
- A daily allocation of RM1.50 every school day per child for food prepared by the school.
- An annual allocation of RM100.00 per child for learning materials. As each preschool class can receive up to 25 children, that means the school can receive up to RM2,500 per year for the purchase of teaching and learning materials.Through the National Education Act 1996 (Akta Pendidikan Kebangsaan 1996 – Akta 550, 2005) preschool education was officially declared part of the school system. All public and private preschools/kindergartens are required to implement the National Preschool Curriculum formulated through the Curriculum Development Centre, Ministry of Education (effective January 2003).
The implementation of any additional curriculum by private preschools requires permission from the Head of Registrar, MOE. There is no restriction on the medium of instruction used at any registered preschool but the national language must be taught as a subject. Public preschools require a minimum of 10 children aged 4-6 years to start a class. MOE aims to set up a preschool at every national primary school in the future.
- KEMAS preschools are set up by the Department of Community Development (Jabatan Kemajuan Masyarakat) of the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development to provide preschool education to children aged 4- 6 years, particularly those from families with very low income. Classes are conducted at the community halls (rented or provided free), housing estates, private property, shophouses (rented) or at premises built by the Ministry.
Each enrolment requires a minimum of 10 children per class and a maximum of 30 is allowed. The operation of KEMAS preschools is funded by the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development. Every child receives RM1.50 per day for food and RM100 per year for learning materials. An additional food allowance of RM150.00 per year is given to very poor families.
KEMAS preschools have been using the National Preschool Curriculum since 2003 and emphasises on reading, writing and arithmetic, developing individual potential, instilling moral values, building character and self awareness; and developing physical, health, cleanliness and safety skills.
- PERPADUAN preschools are set up by the Department of National Unity and Integration. They were first set up in 1976 beginning with 25 classes in urban and suburban areas, specifically in areas with ‘Skim Rukun Tetangga’ – a ‘friendly neighbour’ scheme.
Each preschool class has a Preschool Coordinating Committee made up of members of the local community who provide advice on the operation of the preschool and organise various activities for parents.
PERPADUAN preschools are established with the objective of nurturing unity values at an early stage so that children will love their country and adapt themselves to live harmoniously in a multi-racial community. PERPADUAN preschools have been using the National Preschool Curriculum since 2003.
The aims of PERPADUAN preschools are to:
- nurture and foster the spirit of harmony, neighbourliness, unity and nationality among children of different races
- inculcate positive spiritual and moral values in the children’s every day lives thus creating perfect personalities and characters to become good and valuable family members
- encourage a comprehensive, integrated and balanced development in children aged 5 and 6 years via informal learning processes – “learning through play”
- strengthen relations and cultivate unity among parents and the community through the PERPADUAN Preschool Coordinating Committee and co-curricular activities.
Classes are conducted at community halls (rented or free of charge), housing estates, private property, shophouses (rented) or built by the Ministry. Each enrolment requires a minimum of 20 children and a maximum of 35 children is allowed. The classes are funded by the Department of National Unity and Integration which also provides a daily allocation of RM1.50 per child for food and RM100.00 yearly for learning materials.
Preschool Education for Children with Special Needs
- Preschool education for children with special needs come under the Ministry of Education which is in charge of programmes for special schools and special integrated primary schools for children; and the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development which is responsible for implementing other special programmes.
In 2000, existing special schools started an early intervention programme on their own initiative for children aged 4-6 years. In 2003, MOE approved the conversion of these early intervention programmes at 28 special schools to preschool programmes for children with special needs. The 28 programmes consist of 22 for the hearing impaired, 5 for the visually impaired and 1 for those with learning disabilities.
The Department of Social Welfare of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development runs programmes for severely disabled children with the aim of enhancing their quality of life in line with the National Welfare Policy and National Social Policy. Special grants are also given to NGOs that help run these special programmes for children below 4 years old.
Preschools Operated by Private Sectors and NGOs
- Preschools operated by the private sector complement the government’s efforts in providing quality education to children aged 4-6 years. These preschools are required to adopt the National Preschool Curriculum as stipulated in the National Education Act 1996.
The medium of instruction at these preschools ranges from Bahasa Malaysia to Chinese, Tamil or English. The curriculum emphasises on communication and social skills that prepare the children for primary (formal) education. Additional programmes offered must be approved by MOE. The fees for a private preschool range from RM20 to RM1000 per month.
What Qualifications Do You Need?
Basic childcare course (Kursus Asuhan Permata) approved by the Department of Social Welfare (JKM).
You are also encouraged (soon maybe compulsory) to pursue an early childhood education course that has the following qualifications:
Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia 3 in Early Childhood Care and Development Education (T982-001-3:2017) (1 year program) or equivalent, if you want to be an early childhood educator or taska owner.
You do not need SPM but basic 3M skills (Membaca, Menulis & Mengira is required and min age is 17 years old.
Depending on institution that you select, lectures may be delivered in BM or English)
Diploma in Early Childhood Education Course (2.5 years program), if you want to teach in kindergarten
- 3 Credits in SPM or equivalent; or
- 2 Credits in SPM and 3 years of working experience with young children; or
- 1 Credit in SPM and 5 years of working experience with young children
- Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia 3 or Sijil Kolej Komuniti (Level 3, MQF) in a related field and pass in SPM with at least credit in one (1) subject
- Admission through Accreditation of Prior Learning Experience or APEL: 1 credit and 5 years related learning/working experience
- Author of Children’s Books
- Au Pair
- Art Instructor
- Children’s Television Broadcaster
- Curriculum Developer /Trainers
- Parenting Coach
- Product Developer
- Experimental Coach
- Event Management
- Instructional Designer
- Social Workers
- Teacher / Principal
- Voice Talent
Source: Schools of Malaysia Directory 3rd Ed, Unirazak, Dika College
Note: The demand is so high that we are also getting enquiries for colleges (IPTS) that is going for sale that offers early childhood education course.