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It is noteworthy that only a few states in India have formulated specific guidelines for crèche facilities. By adopting the NMSPC, uniform standards for providing crèche facilities can be implemented, thereby enhancing the quality of crèche services nationwide. 

While the NMSPC serves as a set of suggested guidelines, it also provides an opportunity for employers to effectively comply with their existing obligations for providing crèche facilities, as mandated under various labour laws. By offering secure crèche facilities for children, employers enable women to balance their work responsibilities with their maternal duties, thereby promoting increased female workforce participation – an essential factor for fostering women-led development. 

Key Considerations before Establishing a Crèche

Before establishing a crèche, several key considerations should be taken into account. The parameters suggest that the crèche be located near the childrenshomes or near their parents’ workplace, facilitating quick contact in case of emergencies. The guidelines recommend installation of CCTV cameras to ensure supervision at the crèche. Additionally, displaying all emergency and important contact details on boards is advised. The NMSPC also requires local police stations, the Women and Child Development/Social Welfare Department, and the Labour Department to have access to all information relating to the crèche facility.

Crèche Administrative Committee

Each crèche facility must have a Crèche Administrative Committee (CAC), which consists of a crèche administrator appointed by the establishment setting up the crèche, a crèche supervisor, and preferably three parents or guardians of the beneficiary children. The CAC is responsible for conducting safety inspections, resolving disputes between parents and service providers, and other related responsibilities. 

Staff Requirements and their Qualifications

To handle 20-25 children in a crèche, at least one crèche supervisor, who holds a minimum of a 12th grade qualification, and one crèche helper, with a minimum of a 10th grade qualification, are required. Ideally, crèche staff should possess a minimum of 2 years of experience in the childcare sector, either professionally or through volunteer work, and preferably hold a diploma in Childcare or Nursing.

Prerequisites for Hiring Staff

Before hiring staff for the crèche, it is essential to obtain a police verification certificate, a character certificate, and a medical certificate.

Services to be provided in the Crèche

  • Monthly meetings should be organised for parents to provide feedback. 
  • The childcare centre must store first-aid kits, medical kits, and fire extinguishers on the premises, and have arrangements in place with the nearest available health facility to provide immediate assistance. 
  • Records and registers containing the childrens’ admission details, their attendance and medical records, visitor logs, and inspection reports should be meticulously maintained. 

 

Takeaway for Employers

The lack of uniformity in crèche standards among states highlights the necessity for nationwide adoption of the NMSPC. Embracing these standards will ensure consistent and equitable practices, ensuring that children receive optimal care regardless of their location. Further, the release of the NMSPC not only marks a significant advancement in women-led development but also offers employers an opportunity to contribute to the growth and development of the future generation while fostering a culture that values work-life balance. This initiative represents a pivotal step towards creating a more inclusive and progressive society, prioritising the needs of women and their families, and leading to a more sustainable and equitable future. 

Discover more about Health and Safety on our Global HR Law Guide