The 2006 National Crèche Scheme and its network of neighbourhood crèches are meant to provide daycare facilities for the children of working mothers in a community. But crèches located in semi-urban and rural areas face a number of issues, from not being operational at all to being located too far away from the community that they are meant to be for.
Crèches are a crucial intervention not just from the mother’s perspective, but also from the perspective of the state, as they can be the focal point for early childhood care and development. And Odisha recognises this potential; in an effort to tackle rising malnutrition, they created an intervention based on community-led action, which is being spearheaded by the Public Health Resource Society and Azim Premji Foundation.
So just what is this model? How is it being run currently? What does it mean to have the community at the centre of such interventions? Dr Vandana Prasad takes us through these questions and more.