PETALING JAYA: Parents are struggling to have their children enrolled in government-run pre-schools and kindergartens due to the lack of such facilities in urban areas.
Many parents are also finding it to be a case of “first come, first served”.
Nadia Syazana, who works in the private sector, said she had to rush to register her children for government-run kindergartens given the high demand and limited spots.
The 34-year-old said the lack of kindergartens coupled with the absence of government-run childcare centres have also left parents with little choice but to spend a fortune on private kindergartens.
“With government-run kindergartens, you can only register your child if there is a spot available and it is on a first come, first served basis. It’s all down to luck.
“Also, due to the uncertain economic situation, it is not only parents from the B40 group who wish to send their children to government-run kindergartens,” she told FMT.
Nadia said as a result, many parents had to live frugally in order to fulfil their financial commitments each month, including sending their children to private kindergartens.
Housewife Hafiza Nek Man, 37, said some parents were unable to send their children to pre-schools and kindergartens simply because of the limited spots in government-run facilities and the inability to afford private kindergartens.
She said there was only one pre-school where she lived in Damansara Damai, which was densely populated.
“Those who have more money can send their children to private kindergartens whereas those who can’t afford it, must wait until their children are old enough for school,” she said, lamenting the high costs of private kindergartens in urban areas.
Muhammad Afiq, 34, said he hoped the government would set up special childcare centres for low- and middle-income groups as well as increase the number of pre-schools and kindergartens available.
“If the government can provide special childcare centres and pre-schools for the low- and middle-income groups, it will really help reduce their financial burden,” he said.
The private sector employee said the monthly expenses for one child alone could amount to more than RM1,000 in kindergarten fees, nanny wages and school supplies. “My wife and I have three children,” he said.
Azira Azmi, who works in a private hospital, said she and her husband had to work part-time jobs because the cost of living now exceeded their regular income.
She said she allocated more than RM500 a month to send one of her children to kindergarten, which she said was the cheapest price she could find.
“I would be very grateful if the government could set up childcare centres with low fees,” the 28-year-old said.
Last Tuesday, education minister Fadhlina Sidek said there was a need for more government-run pre-schools and kindergartens in urban areas in view of the shortage. She said this was one of the issues being prioritised by the ministry.