This is a continuation of my previous entry.
This entry seems to have garnered the most response from readers so far, so I shall try to address some of the questions raised.
I shall have to use the Malay term, so that readers can differentiate between both services, as there is the tendency to mix up what is Childcare and what is Kindergarten. Just to re-iterate, TASKAS / CHILDCARE CENTRES are a different set of establishments compared to TADIKAS/ KINDERGARTENS.
As said, both establishments need a different license to run, but in Malaysia the situation is a bit different here. Tadikas are allowed to have taska services, but they need to apply for separate licenses. Taskas services run until about as late as 6 to 8pm at night (depending on the location, or demand).
Tadikas run until about 3pm, and I feel that with a lot of children going to chinese schools in Primary 1, a lot will and are begining to cater for the older 6 year old group (staying until 3pm). Of course, that too depends on the Tadika itself, or if parents are willing to pay more for that (which is currently still an option).
From what I know, under the new ruling, in Malaysia, institutions that do not have the word TASKA or TADIKA, tend not to be registered, except if the school has already long been established before the ruling came about, so they do not fall under that category.
If the name of the centre is in English, parents have to make their own investigations still to check whether the centre is credible or not.
If the centre has a license, it would show that the centre has at least met the minimum basic SAFETY requirements for quality set out by the government when the authorities came to check.
This is about at least the most parent should look for, as many centres in Malaysia are not registered, and this takes away a lot of the credibility and yes, financial "rice pot" from centres which are registered.
Lack of manpower by the authorities in Malaysia is another reason why unregistered centres still prevail.
The requirements for local TADIKA teachers are currently a certificate in teaching & SPM. Of course, if there is a diploma or degree, that obviously would be preferable. However, the number of TADIKA teachers that hold a diploma is a handful, and as for degrees, that is even less than a handful. This too depends on the Tadika itself. :-P
The salary of a kindergarten teacher, in local TADIKAs, I shall say, is hardly enough to make ends meet, except unless one is employed in an international institution, or the teacher takes up another job.
It is preferable for international employees to work in an international school/ institution, as the school would cater better for international staff (legislations and all). A lot of international schools require a degree (regardless of major), and their regulations to hire/employ differs.
TADIKA or Kindergarten teachers should be professionally trained, to a certain level, hopefully, a diploma level, to get the accreditation they deserve. In other countries, teaching children at Kindergarten level is a professional vocation.
In countries like Australia, teachers who handle a class require a 4 Year degree before they are given a licence, whereas the Manager of the Kindergarten only require a 3 year degree (since they do not really have to handle the children, and handling adults are always much easier to handle than the children anytime.)
This differs from country to country. Requirements in NZ is a Teaching Diploma but the government will upgrade requirements to a degree in about 5 years time (they hope that is. haha!). It too depends on the social and culture context of the country as well.
The younger the age group of the class is, the more important and paramount that the teacher IS & SHOULD be professionally trained.
Unless the current mindset of Malaysians change, the current situation that prevails in Malaysia for Tadika teachers will remain as it still is. As for change anyway, it will still take TIME for that to happen.
I shall write more on quality Taska centres later. Please wait for Part 3. ;-)