PETALING JAYA, Malaysia - A nursery in Precinct 11, Putrajaya, has been ordered to close temporarily following the death of a four-month-old baby after initial investigation showed that it did not have enough people to care for the children.
Social Welfare Department director-general Datuk Norani Mohd Hashim said there were only four caregivers for the 39 children when there should have been nine as required under the Child Care Regulations 2012.
"The operator did not follow the requirements because at the time of the tragedy, there were 33 children below the age of four and six after-school children above the age of four.
"The department has issued an order for the nursery to cease operating until further notice," she said in a statement here yesterday.
Norani said the caregivers at the nursery were also not certified, adding that they did not attend the mandatory early child care course.
"Our checks revealed that the four caregivers on duty that day had yet to attend and pass the course," she said.
Police are currently investigating the cause of death of Nur Imna Khalisa on Sept 29.
The baby's father, Muhamad Zamri Anuar, 34, had reportedly said there were only two caregivers, who were crying, when he and his wife arrived at the nursery to find Nur Imna dead at 5.45pm.
He also claimed that his daughter's body had started to turn blue and was stiff, adding that she appeared to have been bitten by ants.
Muhamad Zamri alleged that his baby had been in good health when he dropped her off in the morning, accusing the nursery of making no effort to contact them over Nur Imna's death.
Norani said the department's priority was to safeguard the welfare of other children at the nursery.
"We want to ensure that what happened to Nur Imna does not recur," she said.
The Star had previously highlighted the lack of child care centres in the country, with existing ones overburdened, some by as much as double the capacity, putting the welfare of their charges at risk.