23 June 2008

Childcare in Indonesia

Save the Children has released a report titled, "Someone that Matters: The quality of care in childcare institutions in Indonesia", the report is jointly published by the Department of Social Affairs and UNICEF.

It is estimated that up to 500,000 children live in institutions in Indonesia. This equates to almost 0.6% of the estimated 85 million children living in Indonesia. The report looked at only 37 of the estimated 5,000-8,000 childcare institutions that are believed to be operating throughout Indonesia. Most of these institutions are privately run and most are faith-based. The 37 institutions were related in just 6 of Indonesia's provinces. So, in many ways this is nothing more than a snapshot of the very much larger whole childcare industry.

The report looks at the legal and policy framework that regulates childcare institutions. What is truly interesting in this report is the link between the number of children in institutions and poverty. The report states that a mere 6% of the institutional population are orphans. More than 90% of those in these institutions are there because their parents cannot afford to give them the opportunities they deserve. Most parents believe that putting their children in an institution is more likely to ensure that they get an education (or at least a part of an education) and that they get fed.

This parental dream might just be that, as the report is fairly explicit that in a lot of case rules and procedures were not followed and children received minimal if any care. The report concludes by stating what seems to be the obvious and that is that there is a need to limit unnecessary institutionalization and to increase the quality of the services provided to children in care.


Polar Bear said...

Half a million children live in institutions, 450,000 of them because their parents cannot afford to give them an education. We read the numbers without really seeing the heartbreak and sorrow behind them.

One girl recently told me how she was sent to a boarding house as a young girl, to get an education that was not available in her kampong. When the money ran out and she moved to a university, she lived destitute, sleeping on the earth floor of a lean to. I cried in shame when she told me.
Education should be a pleasant experience.

I look back fondly at my schooldays. My time at University was a ball. I didn’t want for anything. I am embarrassed and saddened.

GJ said...

Hi Rob,

ANZA has a program in which people can sponsor a child through school.
For a mere 770,000 IDR per year, thats right per year, a primary school child get an education. I'm about to fill out the application for 2 kids, to start with.

Love how living here in Indonesia has sharpened my social conscious.

Rob Baiton said...


It is sad indeed! I also look back fondly on my school days. Yet, the government will tell you that it is dealing with the problem and that the numbers are exagerated.

I am not sure how they will do this now as the report is co-written / co-sponsored by the Dept. of Social Affairs.

I have a feeling that this is just another report among many.


Cheap as!

Funny how Indonesia does that to people :D

Rob Baiton said...


I have been thinking about the ANZA thing. Do they have a website? Or do they have something that I can direct people to or give a plug to?

I was figuring that I could make it a blog entry to follow on from this post.

Just a thought...

Rishardana said...

Yup the report looks bleak as ever.
I have always refrained my self to give money to underage in the street as it will further encourage them to stay out of school. Though sometimes their little doe eyes were so irresistible.

I've seen some little girls under one bridge smoking, very sad. Not much we can do. Because I'm not rich enough to be a foster parent, usually these foundations will help us to funnel the money for better use.

Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa
Phone 021 5835 5000

Gerakan Nasional Orang Tua Asuh
Phone 021 390 0900

Annisa Indonesia
Phone 0256 546 240

DILTS Foundation
Phone 021 780 5134

Thank you for writing this Pak Rob.

Rob Baiton said...


As always no problem!

I am planning on writing some other posts as follow-ups to this one...maybe today or tomorrow.