Childcare today forms an integral plank in early childhood education and family life. The various forms of childcare and daycare facilities available in the market allow kids to grow intellectually, socially and emotionally while both their parents work at the office. In fact, it has become a norm for working mothers to take care of their kids at home and this trend is increasing with the passage of time.
Pre-school is a form of child care. A lot of moms who stay at home tend to be too busy with their office work or business to attend pre-school regularly. So they abandon their kids at daycare centers run by non-profit organizations. But with time, these centers have improved to a great extent. Most of these childcare and pre-school institutions are fully equipped with latest toys and equipment to ensure maximum learning among children ages three to seven.
Same-day care and preschool facilities are also offered by many reputed daycare and pre-school organizations. Same-day care is a facility that allows kids up to the age of two to come and go to the caregiver’s house without their guardians being present. Same-day child support facilities are mostly present in big cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. In Mumbai, for example, there are many daycare centers located in some prominent areas of the city like Susy’s family childcare is home to a popular day care center called Cheval, which is famous for its high standard of discipline, care and safety of kids.
On the other hand, preschool facilities are places where kids can learn basic skills like reading, writing and math from birth to the time when they start attending preschool classes at age between four to six years. Preschools are an ideal venue for early childhood educators because teaching of young children takes time and they need plenty of patience and attention. These institutions offer classes in science, geography, art and music along with the standard curriculum of education. There is a tendency for families to send toddlers to preschool instead of daycare centres because it provides them with a safe and loving environment.
Home daycare or early childhood education is a special program designed especially for kids aged three to six years. It is designed to enhance the quality of life of these children and to improve their social, emotional, physical and cognitive development. A good example of a home day care service is the Day Care International (DCI) programme, which aims to help kids reach their full potential. Other organizations that offer good early childhood education programmes include Day Care Services Pvt Ltd (DCAS), Rama Child Development Foundation (RCDF), International Childhood Education Bureau (ICEC), Learning Curve, and Specialized Care Solutions.
Some States also have programs that are fully licensed by the Department of Social Services or DSS. These programs are referred to as Early Intervention/First Steps (EAFS). The primary objective of the early intervention/first steps programmes is to prevent the delay of loss of development in children who have the syndrome of autism, Asperger’s Syndrome or where both parents are diagnosed with autism. The other objective is to prepare the child for entering kindergarten. Most of these programmes are designed keeping in mind the needs of families, so that families can get the maximum benefit out of it. Most States do not provide grants for the support of child care and day care centres.