There are over 200 kindergartens in Penang. The actual number is anyone’s guess: the vast majority, somewhere in the region of 80%, according to state executive councillor Phee Boon Poh – who oversees the state’s welfare portfolio – are unregistered entities.
This largely results from the long list of approvals and requirements one must obtain as a registered preschool. They include a commercial land title (a big stumbling block for kindergartens operating within housing areas), approvals from the local council, Health Department, Fire and Rescue Services, State Education Department and Penang Social Welfare Department.
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