MCO pains of frontline workers with no one to care for their children

Healthcare workers, especially those with spouses also working on the frontlines of the battle against Covid-19, are finding it tough where to place their children during the MCO.

PETALING JAYA: The movement control order (MCO) is especially tough on healthcare workers with children due to the closure of nurseries and childcare centres.

Hairil Ariffin, 27, who works at the Selayang Hospital, said he was facing a major problem because he and his wife were both healthcare workers and there was no one to take care of their four-year-old.

“It’s tougher for us because our child has a disability that requires special therapy treatment at the childcare centre,” Hairil told FMT.

He said their child has global development delay (GDD) and therapy disruptions could cause a major delay in the intellectual development of the child.

Although the childcare centre is closed, he said, he still had to pay half the monthly fee. “My wife and I still need to fork out RM750 per month to pay for my kid’s nursery fee.”

According to Hairil, special-needs children require more attention, but due to the nature of his job, he is unable to cater to his child’s needs.

He fears the situation will exacerbate the child’s condition as both he and his wife have to work for long hours.

“The time we spend with our child is minimum and the childcare centre is supposed to complement it,” he said.

Hairil said he has no choice but to send his child to an unregistered babysitter for the time being.

“There were times this babysitter couldn’t help, so my wife and I had to change our shifts with our colleagues,” he said.

Azrul Fitri, 26, a healthcare worker at a private hospital, said he was grateful as his in-laws were available to take care of his year-old baby.

“My in-laws are residing at my place for the time being to babysit my baby,” he told FMT.

Farah Hanani, 25, a University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) nurse, said some private hospitals still allowed nurseries to operate during the MCO.

“The UMMC childcare centre operates as usual,” she said.

Cuepacs president Adnan Mat said he was aware of the childcare issue, especially among frontliners.

“Cuepacs has proposed to the government, through the social welfare department (JKM), that private JKM-supervised nurseries be opened for special placements for children of frontliners.

“This way, Cuepacs is fully confident that frontliners will not face any problem if they are directed to work at any time, especially frontliners where both husbands and wives are directly involved,” he told FMT.

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