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by Robin Johansson (with a big smile) – Private nurseries struggle to survive

by Ambika Choudhary Mahajan

parent kid

In a country where nearly 3million children below the age of four years need childcare services, the inability of privately run nurseries and daycare centers to meet their operating costs comes as a major setback to parents who wish to entrust their kids in safe hands, cites an article written by the Star.

P.H.Wong, Vice President of the Association of Registered Child Care Providers, Malaysia, revealed that out of the 1,086 child care centers registered with the Welfare department, 16 had been set up by companies, 67 were run by government agencies, 14 were community based while 989 were being run privately.

Wong told the press that community based childcare centers were given an initial grant of RM 50,000 for setting up and RM 64,000 by way of subsidies each year also did not have many takers. She also added that this was because the subsidy was barely enough to cover the operating costs.

Since parents belonging to weaker sections of the society could afford only RM 200- 350 per child, the nurseries were running in losses.

A 36 year old entrepreneur who did not want to reveal her identity had to close down her center after running it for almost two years in Sri Petaling, as the RM600-800 collected by her by way of monthly fees from the parents of enrolls were not enough to cover the monthly expenditure.

Breaking down, she said she would never want to run a daycare center again. Having spent nearly RM25,000 to set up the center, she was unable to pay the building rent (RM3,000 every month) and provide for nannies’ salaries, food and toys for the kids.

Further, the workload at these centers is heavy and there are not too many people who would be keen to take up jobs even if they were offered salaries to the tune of RM 1,000-1,600.

Dr Zaitol Salleh, the director with the Social Welfare Department legal and advocacy division confirmed this and told that an average of 5 nurseries shut down every year. Dr Salleh added that two nurseries had already surrendered their licenses during the first five months of this year due to the aforesaid reasons.

Another former child care center owner told a leading publication that she had to close her nursery down after running it for seven years because she just could not find enough baby sitters required to lend her a helping hand.

Now in her fifties, this woman was dejected at having to shut down her center which, according to her, was mainly because younger women who would willingly work at centers like hers were not keen to do so anymore.

“Most baby sitters prefer to work on their own at home while the young people prefer other jobs,” she said.

Zonya Foco – Brain Gym Exercise for Students

by Robin Johansson

Personally I’m on the fence when it comes to the effectiveness of Brain Gym. Despite various moderate success with applying Brain Gym exercises with young children, I have yet to establish a clear explanation about why it works and how.

What seems to be certain is that while its mechanics is yet to be proven, Brain Gym certainly brings no harm to the children and does seem to improve children’s responsiveness and abilities by a great deal.

There are plenty of Brain Gym resources in the net go check it out yourself. I know I got my first exposure to Brain Gym through Internet…

Enjoy the video.

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Diploma in Early Childhood Kirkby International College


Kirkby International College is going to launch their Diploma in Early Childhood Programme very soon. Leave your contacts with us so that the reps from Kirkby International College can fill you in on the details.

If you sign-up with the programme through Success Marks you stand to enjoy special discounts.

For more info, leave us a comment or visit


Success Marks

Young Chef Academy – Seem Like Fun

By Robin Johansson

When doing some random scounting on the net, I come across this fun site that offers course to your young chefs… That’s right, your sons and daughters have the talent and potential to be young chefs, waiting to be unlocked.

Young Chef Academy

Taken from their website:

Young Chef academy is a cooking school created just for kids! We teach children as young as 3-years-old the joy of cooking in a kid friendly and safe environment. All classes are hands-on and the kids get to taste their creations at the end of class. They also learn safety, etiquette, math and science…. all while having fun!!

Classes Available: Our weekly classes are held year-round.  We have classes for Kindercooks (ages 3-6), Junior Chefs (ages 7-12) and Teen Chefs (11 & above).  Register today by calling (03-6211 2433) or coming by Young Chefs.  You can sign up and join the classes at anytime.

Till then, have  a food load of fun!


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Malaysia Islamic Children’s Fair

by Robin Johansson

event i

The Malaysia Islamic Children’s Fair (MICF) and MICF Conference will be held on 22-24 November 2013 at Shah Alam Convention Centre.

They’re looking for sponsors and exhibitors for this event to be held on 22-24 November 2013. Contact them at or PM us on Facebook for details.

Find out more about this event on

>>> – How to Make Learning Fun for Your Child

by Robin Johansson

Can I say there’s nothing more vital than ensuring that your child find learning fun. It’s so essential to their growth as a human being and it’s fun for the adults too to watch children have fun learning. Let’s here what WAHM has to say about this topic.

learning fun

Acquiring new knowledge and skills is all part of the learning process, and it plays a central part in a child’s development. Having a wide array of toys, educational materials and imagination will help you make learning fun for your child.

It is important for parents to take part in the learning process of their children. It not only helps parents and children form loving bonds, it also helps parents monitor their child’s developmental stages (i.e. increasing awareness and catching any concerns sooner).

Encourage Their Natural Tendency to be Curious
The reality is that children find learning fun right from the start; their excitement to learn new things is too often stymied by rules, restrictions, and inadvertent words of discouragement, even from well intentioned parents. Clearly, children are born explorers and optimists. Parents need to foster this natural curiosity rather than shutting it down. The way to do this is by guiding children rather than controlling them. If a toy gains their interest, find games to play using that toy rather than chosing a toy for them.

Model Learning Enthusiasm
Parents should show an interest in learning too. Children are very perceptive and will pick up on negative attitudes that parents have about learning math, grammar, science and so forth. Parents should rather exhibit curiosity and interest in topics and areas that the child is exploring.

Unleash Your Imagination
Being willing to see things in an offbeat or silly perspective can help keep the fun in learning. Try to find novel ways to be playful with a topic can aid learning (e.g. playing “What if….”). Creative ideas will anchor the learning into your child’s memory and make it easier for them to recall it later.

Tips for Making Learning Fun
Children learn when they play. Playing has been said to be the first form of learning. When you play with your child, your child learns the rules and how to interact.
Do encourage sports, since this instills sportsmanship and teamwork.
Encourage and support your child’s artistic pursuits, whether it be ballet, or piano lessons, or art classes.
Have ready-made educational materials at home like DVDs and CDs of songs where they can learn.
Read together. Look at pictures. Encourage them to think about what is happening in the story. It makes the imagination vivid with the lives of real or imagined people. Reading to children helps to increase their vocabulary and their ability to recall (valuable for remembering what the teacher said).
You can make a map and give a specific direction for treasure hunts to strengthen your child’s geography skills. Geography place maps are fun to use. Mark places you’ve visited. Mark famous places and where they’re located.
You can take your child in a nearby diner offering a specific cuisine of a particular country. Let your child experience the food and the ambiance, and in doing so, your child experiences culture and social sciences as well.
Visit museums. There are wonderful places where history and art unfold in your child’s eyes. It is also a great time for interactive learning.
You and your child can monitor how plants grow, or record the changes of the moon and why it looks different than the night before; this encourages observation and science skills as well.
Talk to your child about how things work; try to give them hands on experiences.
In cooking or baking, you can talk about measuring or how molecules react.
Solve daily crossword in a newspaper to build up vocabulary words, or buy a Sudoku book and have fun with numbers.
You can keep learning fun while creating wonderful family bonding moments.

request childcaWoosh, good read!


Autism Live – Dentist Tips for Kids with Special Needs

By Robin Johansson

Dr. Shah, a dentist and author of the new book Sam and the Sugar Bug, gives great tips on how to help children with special needs overcome their fears of going to the dentist. Oral health can be achieved easily by going to the right dentist and going frequently. Dr. Shah shares how we can make it easy!

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Another great insights on the finer details in everyday living with special needs children. Comments below.


the Sun Daily – RM15 mil incentives to set up childcare centres at workplaces

by Ashley Tang

child care

PETALING JAYA (Aug 14, 2013): Setting up more childcare centres and creches at workplaces will help lessen our dependency on maids.

Towards this end, the government has allocated RM15 million for grant incentives to assist operators of private childcare and education centres in setting up high quality centres.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim told theSuntoday more childcare centres could be set up with the grant incentives provided by the government.

The higher quality childcare services are imperative to ensure children up to the age of four years receive proper care and a good foundation in early education.

“Budget 2013 provided income tax exemptions for five years and industrial building allowance at the rate of 10% a year to operators of private childcare centres,” she said, adding that 145 childcare centres have qualified to receive the grants.

Rohani said stringent checks are carried out on childcare operators as they are vetted by four agencies – Fire & Rescue Department, Ministry of Health, Department of Social Welfare and local council to ensure the safety of the children sent to these centres.

She also encouraged the establishment of crèches in the workplace, saying: “Most government offices have crèches and we hope private companies will follow suit.”

Rohani said the government provided an incentive of RM200,000 to any ministry that sets up a crèche in the workplace while the private sector also benefits through tax deductions.

Certain private consulting companies offer services to set-up childcare centres in a simple manner. (Note: contact Success Marks Team for information.)

Meanwhile, Wanita MCA vice-chairman Datuk Heng Seai Kie, when contacted, said there are three reasons why people hire maids: for house cleaning, to care for young children and to take care of the elderly.

“If we can solve these problems, then a full-time maid is no longer necessary. There are alternatives; we can train local people – single mothers or the orang asli as I believe they are as good as these foreign workers if given sufficient training.

“In terms of household cleaning, we can always engage a cleaning company to clean our houses,” Heng added.

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2013 Conference “ Embracing Montessori ”

2013 Conference “ Embracing Montessori ”

Organized by Association Of Indonesian Montessori Schools (AIMS)

To help the education community in Indonesia to really understand Montessori education by reviewing a few of the most prominent areas that describes the basic tenets of Montessori and their relevancy of the needs of education today.


Time : Friday-Sunday, 28-29 September 2013
Venue : Sanata Dharma University, Kampus Mrican, Jl. Gejayan, Mrican, Yogyakarta

Speakers :
Sharon Caldwell from IMC (International Montessori Council)
Gusti Wironegoro (Founder of SD Tumbuh and Speaker of PAUD)
Christine Harrison from MAF (Montessori Australia Foundation)

To register, email the following personnel

Ms. Yulvita:
HP No: 087870211639
Ms. Nourma:
HP No: 085888758080

Registrations will be confirmed by email within one week after the registration form is sent to us and payment proof received. If you do not receive our confirmation, please contact us by email.


Free Tour – Kirkby International College


Kirkby International College is organizing a free tour to view their amazing campus. This free tour is open to anyone who is interested in taking a Diploma in Early Childhood (either full time or part-time).

>>> Click here for information about Diploma in Early Childhood Education

Attendees will gather at the designated venue and there will be buses to take the attendees to Kirkby International College.

The details are as per the following: -

Date : 21 Sep 2013

Time : 9.00 am – 1.30 pm

Venue : No. 29, Jalan Maharajalela, 50150 Kuala Lumpur

Kindly confirm your attendance with us by emailing to . The representative from Kirkby International College will contact you at the soonest. Thank you.

Information source: Mr Andy

Living With ADHD (BBC Documentary)

by Robin Johansson

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most feared and misunderstood of all medical conditions. Despite over 200 scientific papers being published on this neurological condition every year, it remains stigmatised and controversial. Some doctors don’t even believe it exists.

Yet it is estimated that as many as 3-5% of the childhood population, and over one million adults in the UK are affected by ADHD. These people are often described as stupid, lazy, disorganised, wild, out of control or woozy on drugs. But the reality is altogether more complex, and deeply moving.

Please leave your comments.