NHRC concerned over the condition of Crèches/Day care centres in the country; issues notice to the Union Ministry of Women & Child Development (05.12.2016)


New Delhi, 5th December, 2016

The National Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of the condition of crèches/Day care centres in the country following a media report quoting PTI about the alleged inhuman and barbaric treatment meted out to a 10 month old baby by the Caretaker of a Crèche, where she was being dropped by her parents in Kharghar area of Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra.

In this context, the Commission has also taken note of an editorial comment in the Hindustan Times, wherein, quoting experts, it is said that children left at day care centres are at risk because the government does not have any regulation over this sector. What is worse, even teachers and attendants do not have to be qualified for the work. In countries like Britain and the United Arab Emirates, day care staffers need to be qualified in baby-sitting courses. As more and more families become nuclear and women go out to work, there will be a spurt in demand for such day care centres. It is probably about time that standardization along with a certification process for day care centres based on stringent norms are put in place.

The Commission has observed that though the Government of Maharashtra has reportedly acted with alacrity and ordered installation of CCTV cameras in Crèches/Day Care Centres and Play Schools, yet detailed nationwide guidelines are necessary for monitoring and regulating them for secure and safe care of the young children, of working population, whether in private or in public sectors. In case any untoward incident comes into notice of the authorities, the victim child should immediately be provided with proper counseling and if needed consultation of a Psychiatrist apart from the legal action against the erring staff/ owner of the Centre.

The Commission has asked the Union Ministry of Women & Child Development through its Secretary to share with it, the exiting guidelines or regulations, if any, governing this area of child protection. He has been six weeks to respond.