By FARIK ZOLKEPLI and SHAUN HO
newsdesk@thestar.com.my

PETALING JAYA: Childcare centres in the workplace have not taken off despite various efforts by the Government.

Voice of Women president Chew Hoong Ling said both government agencies and private employers had not utilised an RM80,000 incentive to renovate and furnish childcare centres.

“Employers are unwilling to provide such facilities despite the fact that research proves they reduce absenteeism and increase employee loyalty.”

Chew said three researchers who studied hundreds of childcare programmes sponsored by employers found that there was a savings of between US$150,000 (RM451,500) and US$250,000 (RM752,500) for just two companies that provided on-site daycare.

She was responding to reports that many working parents had to send their young children to childcare centres and nurseries, over 60% of which were unregistered.

Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Senator Datuk Heng Seai Kie said a special committee had been set up to push for childcare centres at workplaces.

Parent Lawrence Tan supported the Government’s call to build more daycare centres at the workplace.

“It would be more convenient as I wouldn’t have to leave early to pick up my child and I could also afford to stay back at work later,” said Tan, a project manager.

Jean Tay, who sends her 15-month-old daughter to a nanny, said that although many parents would like having their children near, the suggestion might not be practical.

“What happens when I am on leave or sick? I feel it is more convenient to leave her at a daycare centre nearer to my home,” said Tay, 31, a financial analyst.

Accounts manager Fatimah Awang Jati, 29, said that although nurseries at workplaces were a good idea, she found it easier to send her one-year-old son to a nanny, who stays five minutes away from her house in Puchong.

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