Jammu: The government on Saturday notified the guidelines for the smooth implementation of the “National Creche Scheme” of the Ministry of Women and Child Development in Jammu and Kashmir.
A creche is a facility which enables parents to leave their children while they are at work and where children are provided a stimulating environment for their holistic development.
Creches are designed to provide group care to children, usually up to 6 years of age, who need care, guidance and supervision away from their home during the day.
“For the smooth implementation of the National Creche Scheme of Ministry of Women and Child Development in Jammu and Kashmir, detailed guidelines are hereby prescribed so that the interested NGOs or voluntary organizations can avail the benefits of the said scheme and provide the services to the target group i.e., children from the age group of 6 months to 6 years,” read an order issued by the Commissioner Secretary Social Welfare Department Sheetal Nanda.
Nanda specified that in J&K, 561 creches were funded under the said scheme in previous years, but keeping in view 11,27,623 number of working mothers as per 2011 census in J&K, the number of creches did not seem to suffice the requirement.
Thus the detailed guidelines for implementation of National Creche Scheme in J&K were being issued keeping in view the specific requirements vis-a-vis the development scenario in urban or rural areas or terrain and road connectivity of UT or Primary Health Care Infrastructure or availability of potable water, electricity etc, she said.
“These guidelines will serve in helping the existing creches and prospective creches including such NGOs desirable for running creche facilities and also the employers of various establishments to take decisions about guaranteeing minimum standards of quality care at crèches,” she said.
“Further, various indicators of National Minimum guidelines for setting up of and running creches under Maternity Benefit Act, 2017 issued vide O.M No. CRE-23/1/2018 - Creche-Part(2) dated November 2, 2018, so far as they are in conformity, shall also form part of the current guidelines,” she mentioned.
The objectives of the Scheme are to provide day-care facilities for children (6 months to 6 years) of working mothers in the community; to improve nutrition and health status of children; to promote physical, cognitive, social and emotional development (holistic development) of children and to educate and empower parents/ caregivers for better childcare.
As per the guidelines, the scheme will provide an integrated package of day care 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 monitoring and health check-up and immunization.
The use of creche facilities is proposed to be extended to children of the age group of 6 months to 6 years.
“Most parents work eight hours a day. The timings of the creche can be flexible based on the working hours and timings of the parents. Therefore the creche preferably should open for 8 hours to 10 hours for at least 26 days in a month,” the guidelines mentioned.