It is undeniable that education institutions have been impacted by COVID-19. This has caused not only the learning of the children have been affected but also the early childhood education industry too has been in a very tight situation. As we all know, the Movement Control Order (MCO) has been implemented on 18th March 2020 and has been extended to 28th April 2020. This MCO has disrupted the preschools’ agenda.
The question now is what are the strategies for preschool to sustain the business during post-MCO?
Shorten School Holiday
Preschools could shorten the school holiday, in other words, extending the school days for all the schools. Extending school days not only could benefit the children, by giving them opportunities for them to learn the missing lessons during the MCO but also to the preschools which will help them to organize and achieve their academic goals for the year.
This has been suggested to the Ministry of Education (MOE) by the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Council as one of the strategies to help the preschools in Malaysia to tackle the issues faced because of the close-down order.
Assuming that everyone is allowed to go back to their normal life after MCO has been lifted, one way to sustain the preschools’ business is setting up an enrichment center in the preschools. This does not mean that the preschools need to change the whole operation to become an enrichment center, but they could add some programmes for kindergarten children.
There are a lot of companies that offer enrichment programmes for kindergarten such as ALFA and Friends (STEM Class), cooking class, coding class, and other more programmes. This will help the preschools to enhance their children’s skills and knowledge but also can help the preschools to gain more profit.
The next strategy is preschools need to consider appropriate online learning applications to use as a medium for blended learning with the children. Understandably, some schools are applying this to ensure continuous learning for the children when they cannot attend schools.
However, preschools need to get ready if the MCO has been lifted but schools are not allowed to open up yet. Therefore, the preschools need to set up strategies on the direction of the children’s learning after MCO and the perfect solution is online learning. Teachers need to start preparing materials to make sure blended learning could be done.
For post-MCO, all preschools need to have additional programmes for the children. Fun and interesting programmes will lift the children’s spirit in learning. For instance, there are a lot of holiday programmes or mid-holiday programmes such as STEM Camp from ALFA and Friends. There is a lot of series for the STEM Camp that excites the children! They will be doing interesting experiments and learn about STEM, design thinking and various scientific principles.
Usually, preschools will take up this holiday programmes at the end of the year, however, to excite the children going back to school after spending a long time at home, get the STEM camp boxes now!
Parents Need to Help the School
Even though there are a lot of strategies been planned and executed by the preschools, nothing will be successful if there is no support from the parents. Parents need to support the schools for the preschools to continue to operate. For instance, if there are additional programmes conducted by the schools, let the children participate and enroll them! Not only the children will be exposed to new knowledge and new experiences, but also, this will help the schools economically.
Dear teachers, owners and parents, if you find yourself reading this, it means that you are planning for post-MCO strategies for your schools and beloved children. No matter what you are deciding to do, please remember to obey the orders released by our government from time to time to curb the chain of infection.