The Maharashtra State Commission for Women have framed new guidelines for the functioning of Creche and Day Care Units across the state. This comes after the horrific incident of Kharghar day care unit, wherein an infant was manhandled and assaulted by a caretaker.
The incident had come to light after a video went viral on social media, showing the horrific act of the female caretaker.
While speaking exclusively to the Free Press Journal, Vijaya Rahate, chairperson of State Women’s Commission, said, “I was pained to see the video of the child being ill-treated by the caretaker. After that incident, our Commission noticed that till now there have been no guidelines for the regulation of day care units in the state.”
“Accordingly, we thought of framing some guidelines and so we roped in experts from various Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and day care unit associations. We have prepared guidelines now and have sent the same for the approval of Governor C Vidyasagar Rao and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis,” Rahate said.
The Commission has managed to come up with these 73-page guidelines, within a period of three months. The Commission has consulted nearly hundred experts from institutes and NGOs like Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), UNICEF, Learning Curve and other private day care unit associations.
According to Rahate, while framing the guidelines, the Commission had considered the percentage of children between 0 to 6 years. The Commission also considered the percentage of working women across the state.
The best part in these guidelines is that all the daycare units will now have to register themselves and obtain proper licenses.
“We have noticed that majority of creche and day care units have no registration or license and are functioning without it. So now, we have recommended for registration of such day care units with the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare. This will bring them under government lens,” Rahate said.
Interestingly, the Commission has brought in the qualification and training rider for caretakers. It has laid down certain conditions for recruitment of caretakers. Rahate said, “We noticed that several day care units today have employed caretakers who have no qualification or proper training. We have now made it mandatory that only qualified and at least three months trained people can be employed in these units.”
“We have also suggested to make police verification mandatory for the caretakers and owners of the
day care units,” Rahate added.
The list of recommendations also includes the ‘consent’ form of parents wherein parents will sign the conditions as laid down by the Commission.
The guidelines have also suggested the adequate area of land required for setting up the day care units. The list further covers the hygiene aspects, first aid kit and, also, the quality of toys that should be used for the children.
Interestingly, the Commission has also recommended for imposing fines on day care units that violate the guidelines.