The pacing up industrialization and urban development have led to increased migration into the cities. In the recent few decades, it has shown a rapid increase in nuclear families and breaking up of the joint family system. Thus the children of these women, who were earlier receiving support from relatives and friends while their mothers were at work, are now in the requirement of day care services which provide quality care and protection for the children. The absence of proper day-care services is, often, a deterrent for women to go out and work. Hence, there is an immediate need for improved quality and reach of day care services/crèches for working women amongst all socio-economic groups both in the organized and unorganized sectors. Maintaining all this in mind Indian government launched a scheme namely Rajiv Gandhi National Creche Scheme, which is managed by central government and taken care by the Women and Child Development Department.
The scheme goals on children of 6 months to 6 years, of working women in rural and urban areas who are employed for a minimum period of 15 days in a month, or six months in a year. The Scheme also covers a pan India. Priority would be given to poor children and children with special nutritional needs. As on January 2015, there are 23,293 functional child cares. This Scheme will pursue as a Central Sector Scheme in rural and urban areas. In the first year of the function of the revised Scheme, the agencies will undertake an exercise to upgrade the infrastructure in the child care to meet the requirements of the revised Scheme. In this time the agencies will also undertake intensive inspections and weed out non-functional and non-performing crèches in these areas.
Preferably the number of children in the crèche should not be more than 25. Of these, at least 40 percent of children should, ideally, be below 3 years of age. It is mandated that adequate trained worker and helper are available to provide daycare facilities and to supervise the functioning of the child care centre. Add to it crèche worker, there should be one crèche helper looking after children.
To regulate the standards of care, the worker and helper should have minimum qualifications and required training at the time of appointment itself, so as to make them understand and cater to the children’s individual needs and developmental capabilities. Thus, the NGO should engross only such staff in the crèches who have been trained in the last three years from approved training centres. The training will also be given by the implementing agencies/ mother NGOs, from their own resources.
- To give day-care facilities for children (6 months to 6 years) of working mothers in the community.
- To improvise nutrition and health status of children.
- To advertise the physical, cognitive, social and emotional development (Holistic Development) of children.
- To train and empower parents /caregivers for better childcare.
The scheme will provide an integrated package of the following services:
- Daycare Facilities including Sleeping Facilities.
- Early Stimulation for children below 3 years and Pre-school Education for 3 to 6 years old children.
- Supplementary Nutrition(to be locally sourced)
- Growth checks up Monitoring.
- Regular Health Check-up and Immunization.