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In a first, govt frames guidelines for creches in JK

In a first, govt frames guidelines for creches in JK
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'Govt proposed to extend Creche facility for the children up to 6 years'

Mahwish Mushtaq Khan
Srinagar: After years of delay, the J&K Government has finally come up with regulations for the preparatory schools (Creches) in J&K. The guidelines will surely help to manage these toddler preparatory schools in a much better way, officials said.
The regulations were framed in line with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Women and Child Development for the smooth implementation of the National Creche Scheme of the Ministry in India.
The guidelines are expected to streamline the functioning of these preparatory schools while having a proper watch and ward from the competent authorities.
Notably, the guidelines have been issued for the first time in J&K for the functioning of creches which were operational in J&K without any regulatory framework of the government.
As per the guidelines, the department of Social Welfare (SW) J&K will be the competent authority for these creches functioning across J&K.
Notably, the creches have witnessed a mushroom growth over the years as there were no checks and balances or any guidelines for the establishment of these schools in J&K.
Meanwhile, the department of SW in its guidelines has hinted that the J&K government was proposing to extend the facility of the Creches to the children up to the age of six years.
Pertinently, over the years, the delay in framing the regulations for these play way schools gave a free hand to the proprietors of these institutions to fix the fee structure, donation and admission fee as per their own will.
As per the official document accessed by this newspaper, the guidelines will serve in helping the existing creches and prospective creches besides some NGOs desirable for running creche facilities in J&K.
“It will prove beneficial to the employers of various establishments to take decisions about guaranteeing minimum standards of quality care at creches,” read the guidelines.
As per the detailed guidelines issued by the Social Welfare Department (SWD) J&K, the use of crèche facilities is proposed to be extended to children of the age group of 6 months to 6 years.
Earlier, the creche facility was availed by the parents for their kids up to the age of 3 years and later the kids were admitted in the kindergarten section of other schools.
The SWD in its guidelines has stated that the timing of the creche can be flexible based on the working hours and timings of the parents.
“Therefore the credche preferably should open for eight hours to 10 hours for at least 26 days in a month,” read the guidelines.
The guidelines have stressed on providing a nurturing, responsive and inclusive environment in the creche and should have bright, cheerful and child accessible displays of essential play and teaching learning material.
“Daily schedule, child safety and essential norms besides other relevant material should be displayed on the walls. Material prepared by children like their drawings and other art work should be displayed at the creche to create a child friendly environment,” read the guidelines.
Considering the health of the toddlers, the guidelines issued by the J&K SWD has said that there should be a doctor on call for any medical emergency and parents should also be informed immediately.
“The creche should have a tie-up with the nearby Anganwadi centre/ PHC and its workers for health care inputs like immunization, polio drop and de-worming. In case of serious illness children may be taken to the nearest government private hospital,” read the guidelines.
While the government is proposing to extend the facility of creche to the children up to the age of 6 years, it has stated that “Ideally” the number of children in the creche should not be more than 25.
“Of the total students, at least 40 percent of children should, preferably, be below three years of age,” the document reads.


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