Soon all playschools, day care centres and crèches — catering to children less than six years old — would be held accountable if they provide poor quality services at their facilities.
As of now there is no regulation in place to monitor the quality of service being provided at such facilities that have mushroomed across India, many of which charge exorbitant fees as well.
The Women and Child Development (WCD) ministry — the nodal agency responsible for care of pre-school children – has finalised the draft National Early Childhood Care and Education (NECCE) policy to regulate the quality of care and education being provided to children at playschools and day care centres.
The policy will not only make registration and accreditation of such centres mandatory but will also spell out the kind of literature for children and learning tools that they will have to provide to kids.
Standards will also be laid down for the kind of play material, play space, furniture, etc. to be provided at such facilities. “We will move the cabinet shortly for getting the policy approved,” said a WCD ministry official.
Violation of the laid down norms would invite stringent penalties, which is yet to be decided. An NECCE Council will be set up to fix the penalties for various violations.
The policy will also specify the minimum qualification that will be required for a person to be employed at such centres. The standards would be valid across public and private service providers.
“In the absence of any set guidelines many such centres provide inadequate services which end up hampering a child’s development. So a need was felt to have an institutional mechanism in place to ensure quality,” WCD minister Krishna Tirath told HT.