Exploring the sustainability of institution-based private childcare centres in Klang Valley
With the increased number of women participation in the labour force and the encouragement from the Malaysia government to the private sector in setting up preschool and early childcare centre, there is a high demand on the number of institution-based private childcare centre. However, the literature has shown that the number of childcare centres closing is on the rise and at a worrying state. Hence, the purpose of this study is to explore the possible factors affecting the closing down of childcare centre and to learn the best practices from the sustaining childcare centres. This study utilized multiple case studies methods in researching the success factors of those sustainable childcare centre as well as identifying the factors that lead to the closing down of some childcare centres. Two institution-based private childcare centres who have operated for more than ten years and two centres that have recently closed after operating between two to four years in the Klang Valley area were selected in this study. This study used semi-structured interviews to collect qualitative data from the operator, teacher and parent of each centre. Findings indicate that operators need not only to have early childhood education background in curriculum planning, training and lessons planning, at the same time, they have to be knowledgeable, skilful and experienced in business management to enhance their competencies for management of centres in today’s competitive industry. Operators are expected to have good financial management, strong leadership abilities, good in marketing and recruitment and to have policy literacy to comply with the constant changing of the laws and regulations of Malaysia. The ineffective governance in terms of registration and monitoring of childcare centre, enforcement of the laws and loopholes between different licenses became the leading factors of the closing down of the childcare centres in Klang Valley, Malaysia.
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