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Training Programmes for Providers of Early Childcare Education and Development

Introduction


Childcare services in Malaysia come under the Child Care Centre Act 1984 which sets the minimal standards and regulations required. Previously, childcare providers generally did not require academic or professional qualifications and their role was regarded more of a child minder than an educator.

With the realisation that early childhood education plays a crucial role in the development of a child, a standard curriculum for early education and development programmes needed to be implemented. In order to do this, childcare providers have to be trained to facilitate a child's physical, socialemotional and cognitive development.

Consequently, the Social Welfare Department with the cooperation of the Skill Development Department, Ministry of Human Resources, has drawn up the Standard Practice and Standard Content for childcare providers in accordance with the National Occupation Skill Standard. This programme provides a career pathway for childcare providers. The government has also formulated the National Policy for Early Childhood Education and Care and accepted PERMATA's Curriculum as the guiding principle for the national curriculum.

Training for Childcare Providers


Studies have shown that children's development in the first three years of their lives is largely affected by their environment. Hence, the attention given by a child's parents or childcare provider is crucial so that they are not deprived of the opportunity to grow emotionally, physically, and intellectually.

More and more parents depend on childcare providers to care for their children. And today, more parents realise the importance of quality early education and programmes. However, quality childcare service is only possible with trained childcare providers. Hence, the industry must change the society's perception of childcare providers and acknowledge their importance and contribution towards building human capital and the nation's growth.

To attract the best people to take up the profession, childcare providers must understand the career pathway available. They should also be given social recognition and remuneration that commensurate with their work, qualification, and professionalism.

Programmes and Qualifications


NOSS - Qualifications for Childcare Providers
In order to enhance the quality of childcare providers, the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development appointed a Committee of experts in 2007 to develop a certificate in childcare which is in accordance with the National Occupational Skill Standard (NOSS). This was done with the collaboration of the Department of Skill Development, Ministry of Human Resources. The four qualification levels for the childcare sector under NOSS are:

Table 2.1 NOSS - Skills Qualification Levels for Early Child Care and Development
Childcare Provider (SKM Level 2)
Senior Childcare Provider (SKM Level 3)
Childcare Centre Supervisor (DKM Level 4)
Childcare Manager (DLKM Level 5)

The certifications define the skills or competencies needed for each level and outlines a career path for the industry. It also enables childcare providers to become Childcare Specialists, Senior Childcare Specialists and Childcare Experts.

Some Higher Educational Institutions Offering Early Childhood Development Programmes
There are a number of higher educational institutions in Malaysia that are committed to providing education in early childhood programmes top meet the growing demand of childcare centres and kindergartens.

These institutions include public and private funded institutions that are approved by the Ministry of Higher Education to offer courses leading to the award of certificate, diploma and bachelor's degree qualifications.

In order to meet the demands of today's parents who seek childcare centres that provide quality education and care, pre-school and childcare providers are equipping themselves with the right skills and professional qualifications that enable them to perform better.

The demand for academic qualifications in early childhood education, particularly at diploma level is increasing. A typical diploma programme includes theoretical and practical components that prepare early education professionals to work effectively with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers up to the age of eight-years-old.

The quality of the programmes conducted by these institutions is assured by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), the national quality assurance agency of Malaysia. MQA requires that a programme comprises a minimum of 90 credits for a diploma and 120 credits for a bachelor's degree.

Graduates of a diploma programme should be able to:

  • Promote child development and learning of young children
  • Build family and community relationships
  • Observe, document, and assess to support young children and families
  • Design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for all children
  • Identify and conduct themselves professionally as members of the early childhood profession

Table 2.2 : Examples of Higher Educational Institutions that Provide Early Childhood Development Programmes at Diploma & Degree Levels

Certificate & Diploma Level
Name of Institution Name of Programme
Kolej Dika Certificate in Early Childhood Education
Diploma in Early Childhood Education
Kolej Sri Diploma in Early Childhood Development
Kolej SEGi Certiifcate in Early childhood Education
Diploma in Early Childhood Education
Kolej Methodist Cert.in Early Childhood Education
Diploma in Early Childhood Education
International Islamic College Diploma in Islamic Early Childhood Education
Kolej Teknologi Paramount Diploma in Early Childhood Education
Institut Methodist Pilley Diploma in Early Childhood Education
Open University Malaysia Diploma in Early Childhood Education
Universiti Pengurusan Dan Sains (MSU) Diploma in Early Chilhood Education
Universiti Tun Abdul Razak Diploma in Early Childhood Education
International Islamic College Diploma in Islamic Early Childhood Education
Universiti Industri Selangor Diploma in Education (Pre-School Studies)
Malaysian Institutes of Teacher Education, MOE Kursus Diploma Perguruan Malaysia (KDPM) : KDPM Prasekolah (Guru KEMAS/PERPADUAN)
Bachelor's Degree Level
Universiti Pengurusan Dan Sains (MSU) Bac. in Early Childhood Education (Hons)
Universiti Malaysia Bac. of Early Childhood Education
Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris Bac. of Education (Early Childhood Education) with Honours
Universiti Sains Malaysia Bac. of Education (Pre-School Education) (Hons)
Postgraduate Level
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Master of Education (M.Ed) in Pre-School Education
Ph.D. in Pre-School Education
Universiti Malaysia Master of Early Childhood Education
Universiti Malaysia Sabah Master Degree/Ph.D. in Pre-School Education
Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris Master of Education/Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education
Master of Education/Ph.D. in Early Childhood Development

Sources of Reference :
• Prime Minister's opening address of the Malaysian International ECEC Conference on 14 April 2009
• National Occupational Skill Standard (NOSS), Department of Skill Development,
• Education Guide Malaysia (12th Edition)
• Institutions' websites



Source: Schools of Malaysia Directory 3rd Ed.

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