Malaysia is the home of close to thirty million people in the 2013 population census, of whom more than 9.5 million are children under the age of 18. There are approximately 2.5 million children who are four years old and below, and 2.5 million children between ages five to nine.
More than a quarter of our children are below five years of age; they are often taken care of by caregivers other than their parents. The number of young children from infant to four years of age enrolled at childcare centres is expected to grow four or five fold; and preschool children's enrollment is expected to increase to 97 percent by 2020.
Despite childcare centres being regulated by the Department of Social Welfare, only two out of ten childcare providers in each centre have a basic childcare training certificate. Private preschools regulated by the Ministry of Education have less than 10% of their teachers qualified with the Diploma in early childhood education.
This phenomenon is raising a number of serious questions on the quality standard of services offered by private ECCE centres in Malaysia, in particular the teaching and learning processes, the overall status of professionalism and the structure that supports it, and how the transition to primary schools can be managed effectively.
Will the private ECCE workforce be ready for the transformation that is taking place in the services for young children? How will training of childcare providers and preschool teachers be ramped Up to reach the aspired outcomes?
This book reviews the status and work conditions of the ECCE workforce in the private sector in Malaysia in the hope to put into perspective environmental factors in the workplace that cause people to either have a positive or negative attitude towards their job. The authors through this study provide recommendation for ECCE stakeholders to realise their obligations to recognise the potential of staff members and help them fulfil their needs for self-actualization.