The Early Child Care and Education Council (ECCE Council) was established on 30 December 2010 as an enabler for EPP1 (Entry Point Project 1): Ramping Early Child Care and Education which is an initiative under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). The purpose for setting up this Council is to act as a link between the ECCE industry and the Government and to professionalize and assure quality control of the ECCE industry. The Council was launched by the YAB Tan Sri Dato’ Haji Muhyiddin bin Haji Mohd Yassin, the Deputy Prime Minister, who is also the Minister of Education on 18 August 2011 in the SSM Auditorium (Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia).
The launch was attended by a wide spectrum of the society – the Government, public and private universities and colleges, ECCE training institutions, childcare providers, preschool teachers, entrepreneurs of the industry, parents and the corporate sector.
The welcoming address was given by Datuk Dr Chiam Heng Keng, the President of the Executive Committee of the Council. At the launch, YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin, also presented her with the letter of appointment as the Champion for EPP1.
The launch was supported by the sponsorship of Alfa International College/Real Education Group, Beacon House, Fun Science Sdn. Bhd., Global Educare Sdn Bhd (The Children’s House), Institut CECE, Institute of Early Years Development, K Mode Marketing Sdn Bhd., Kolej Dika, Little Scientists, Musikgarten, Osaka Education Supplies, Peter & Jane Kindergarten, Scholastic, SEGI College Group, and USL Educational Supplies (M) Sdn Bhd.
YAB Tan Sri Dato’ Muhyiddin Bin Haji Mohd Yassin, Timbalan Perdana Menteri merangkap Menteri Pelajaran
YB Datin Hajah Fatimah Abdullah, Menteri dalam Pejabat Menteri Besar, Sarawak,
YBhg Dato’ Azmi Bin Ariffin, Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia
YBhg Dato Hamisah bt Ariffin Timbalan Ketua Pengarah (Pembangunan) yang mewakili Ybhg Dato’ Ahmad bin Hj Kabit, Ketau Setiausaha, Kementerian Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan
YBhg Cik Noraini binti Hj Mohd Hasihm, Timbalan Ketua Pengarah yang mewakili Tuan Hadzir bin Md Zain, Ketua Pengarah, Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat
Dato-dato, Datin-datin Tuan-tuan dan puan-puan yang saya hormati sekalian Ahli-ahli Majlis Pengasuhan dan Pendidikan Awal Kanak-kanak yang dikasihi
YAB Tan Sri Muhiyuddin, izinkan saya membentangkan ucapan saya dalam Bahasa Inggeris.
On behalf of the Executive Committee of the ECCE Council I welcome all of you to the launch of the Early Child Care and Education Council. Thank all of you for making time to celebrate this historical moment with us. However our deepest gratitude is extended to our Deputy Prime Minister, YAB Tan Sri Muhyuddin. He has graciously squeezed in this event in his very tight schedule as shown by the fact that the launch is at an unusual hour of 11 am. YAB, we are very appreciative of you for making time to officiate the launch of the ECCE Council. Your presence explicitly signifies the importance you and the government have accorded to the ECCE industry in general and to the ECCE Council in particular.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The ECCE industry has another reason for being grateful to you YAB and YAB may not even be aware of it. Originally, the ramping up was only for preschool. When it was suggested in the NKEA lab to include child care, there was hesitation. On your first visit to the NKEA lab, I approached you to seek permission to include child care in the ramping up. You gave the nod without a second thought, thus birthing ramping up early child care and education, that is, EPP1 as one of the 13 initiatives in the education sector of the Economic Transformation Programme.
The setting up of the ECCE Council is to strengthen the governance of the ECCE industry through professionalizing and assuring quality control of the industry. Two Boards have recently been formed as stipulated in EPP1. The Professional Development Board is for professionalizing the ECCE industry by (a) providing standards and guidelines for the development of early childhood educators, (b) assuring ECCE training meets set standards and (c) promoting professional development of early childhood educators. The Professional Certification Board is to assure quality ECCE service through setting standards for practices, and through assessing and certifying childcare centres and preschools that have met the set standards. These Boards do not have enforcement power. Their roles are principally advisory. They are to motivate early childhood providers, whether they are practitioners, trainers, operators and entrepreneurs, to strive for professionalism and excellence.
The Executive Committee of the ECCE Council would like to thank the Ministry of Education, the Department of Social Welfare, the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA), the Department of Skill Development for supporting and collaborating with us by appointing heads of their relevant departments or divisions to sit on these Boards. With such strong support and collaboration, we are very sure Malaysia can develop into a world-class hub for early child care and education.
Within seven months of its existence, the ECCE Council has accomplished two significant tasks. The cumbersome process of approving TASKA and TADIKA licence has often been cited as a major roadblock to registration. Following the Council’s request for reviewing the process for approval of TASKA and TADIKA licence, the Ministry of Housing and Local Government has in less than three months finalized the guideline which the Ministry had drafted to ease the approval process for TASKA and TADIKA licence. The Ministry had met with all stakeholders several times to discuss the guideline which streamlines the process by having a one-stop centre, harmonizing the licence fee and reducing the approval process to 14 days. The guideline is expected shortly to be submitted to the Cabinet for approval.
Secondly, a Committee comprising JKM, the ECCE Council, SSM, the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) and experts in child care has been formed to enhance corporate participation in setting up childcare centres in the workplace. NUBE is our most valued strategic partner. In February this year, it launched the campaign on childcare centres for bank employers which was followed by a survey to identify its members’ childcare needs. This will lead to drawing up its roadmap for setting up childcare services for its members. Two banks have already expressed their interest in providing such a facility for their employers.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Quality early childhood experiences are critical for children’s development. Parents, early childhood educators, employers, the government and the community all need to work together to give every child the best experiences for him/her to develop. The ECCE Council is committed to the wellbeing of all children. We need your support and cooperation. But the support has first to come from early childhood educators themselves. We hope therefore that every childhood educator in this auditorium will become an ambassador of quality early childhood education and help the profession grow so that every child has qualified and skilled early childhood educators to provide him/her with experiences which lay a foundation that allows the child to grow and develop lifelong.
Ladies and Gentlemen, before concluding I would like to thank our sponsors for their generosity; SSM for the use of this auditorium; the various ministries and departments whose names are listed in the souvenir programmes; participating children, their parents and schools; E2L for housing the ECCE Council and everyone who has contributed in one way or another to the ECCE Council and to make this event possible. I would also like to record my deep appreciation to the hard working Launch Committee headed by Ms Lydia Foong for organizing this successful launch. But, most of all, I would like to thank YAB Tan Sri Muhiyuddin for his support and graciousness to officiate the launch of the ECCE Council.
Thank you everyone for your presence today.
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