The Chandigarh social welfare department is all set to open a 24-hour free-of-cost crèches for children of working women in different parts of the city.
These round-the-clock crèches will start operating from July at eight locations in the city and will operate from anganwadi centres of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme. In each centre, the department will accommodate around 40 children in the age group of one to six.
The location of crèches was selected on the basis of special survey conducted by the department to identify the areas having higher number of working mothers. Two crèches each will be opened at Dhanas and Manimajra, and one each at Ram Darbar, Maloya, Dadumajra and Indira Colony. At present, there are only private day-time crèches operating in the city, which charge hefty fee from parents for their services.
For running the crèches efficiently, the department is recruiting new staff of 48 people, including 16 house mothers, 16 cook-cum-helpers and 16 peon-cum-guards.
Giving details, director, social welfare, Rajesh Jogpal said, “The crèches will start functioning soon after the recruitment and training of staff is over. We are selecting only best people for the job, who are capable of handling children with care.”
For running the centres properly, crèche workers and helper will undergo a short-term training. The workers will also be given training on how to cook healthy and nutritious food.
Jogpal maintained that each centre would be equipped with facilities that cater to the needs of small children. Special attention has been paid to the sleeping facilities, besides having essential play, teaching and learning material to meet the needs of pre-school children.