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Govt to partner with NGOs, VOs to open creches for children of working mothers

Post by Sameer Showkin Lone on Sunday, September 18, 2022

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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government is set to partner with different Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs) and Voluntary Organisations to open play schools or creches for the children across J&K.

The creches will come up both in the urban and rural areas.

“The move is aimed to ensure a safe and secure environment for the toddlers whose parents are engaged with jobs (full-time or part-time) whether in government, organised or the unorganised sector,” said Mohammad Ashraf, District program Officer, Integrated Child Development Scheme(ICDS).

According to an official communiqué, a copy of which is with the Rising Kashmir, the creche should be opened near the areas where large numbers of women are employed and work for 6-8 hours a day.
“The site for opening the creches should be near hospitals, educational institutions, Colleges, Universities, Government Offices, Shopping Malls, Industrial Areas, construction sites etc,” reads the circular guidelines.
In this regard, an official notification and an order (122-SWP-Jk-2022) has been issued under the flagship Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) which is under the control of the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development and is supervised by the Department of Social Welfare in J&K.

According to officials, the NGOs and VOs registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860, are eligible to partner with the government and start the process of opening creches.

The move will help a large section of people who could not afford to send their children to private creches.

According to the officials working in the ICDS department, around 1400 Anganwadi centers would also be turned into creches with modern facilities for childcare.

"1400 anganwadi centers would be converted into creches with all necessary amenities. It will help in the holistic development of children. The department is going to upgrade infrastructure facilities in existing anganwadi centers to provide more childcare facilities in a phased manner," official sources said.
They said the government was in a process to make the Integrated Child Development Centre more vibrant for providing quality basic education to the children of the state.
"In this regard, the integrated child development department is finalising syllabi under the scheme early childhood care and education services (ECCES)," he said.
Accordingly, the creche should be opened near the homes of children or within the radius of 1 kilometre of the work place of the mother.
Mission Director ICDS Rubina Kousar said the organisation has submitted the proposals (with terms and conditions) through online mode. “Data has not been fully collated. They are given 15 days after the closure. Every NGO/VO is supposed to apply through online mode only. We are not entertaining off-line applications,” she said.
Kousar said the functioning has been given to ICDS and the district level and project level officers will keep supervision of these creches. “We want these creches at different government offices and other private places,” she added.

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