Government aims to set up 17,000 creches across the country

The Ministry also plans to depute two additional Creche workers in Angwadis along with the existing staff; the initiatives are being taken under ‘Palna’ scheme

Published - December 22, 2023 10:21 pm IST - New Delhi

The Union Women and Child Development Ministry aims to establish 17,000 creches in Anganwadi centres across the country out of which 5,222 have been approved to date.

The Ministry also plans to depute two additional creche workers in Anganwadis along with the existing staff.

These initiatives are being taken under the ‘Palna’ scheme. The objective of the scheme is to address the urgent need for quality day-care facilities/creches for the children of working women by providing a safe and secure environment for the nutritional, health and cognitive development of the children, thereby enabling more women to take up gainful employment amongst all socio-economic groups both in the organized and unorganized sector, irrespective of their employment status.

Also read: India’s crèche scheme and the laws that govern childcare facilities | Explained

On Thursday, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani released new Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Anganwadi-Cum-Creche centres being set up under the ‘Palna’ scheme.

They outline a comprehensive framework for the administration and implementation of the scheme, including administrative hierarchy, roles, and responsibilities of the workers and monitoring checklist.

Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs Smriti Irani, Minister of State for Women and Child Development and AYUSH, Munjapara Mahendrabhai and others during the National Programme on Anganwadi-cum-Creches (AWCC) under Palna scheme, in New Delhi, on Dec. 21, 2023.

Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs Smriti Irani, Minister of State for Women and Child Development and AYUSH, Munjapara Mahendrabhai and others during the National Programme on Anganwadi-cum-Creches (AWCC) under Palna scheme, in New Delhi, on Dec. 21, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

Initial priority

“Our priority is to reach out to the woman who earns her livelihood, by leaving her own house to work in another, a woman who works as an agricultural labourer, a woman who works as a construction worker, under Palna and provide an opportunity to participate in economic activity, so that along with her livelihood she can provide a safe and secure environment for her children,” Ms. Irani said.

Indivar Pandey, Secretary Ministry of Women and Child Development said two additional Creche workers and helpers will be deputed along with the existing Anganwadi workers and Anganwadi helpers under the Palna scheme.

Highlighting the various efforts made by the government in facilitating women’s economic empowerment, Minister of State for Women and Child Development Dr. Munjpara Mahendrabhai said the government aims to establish 17,000 Creches out of which 5,222 have been approved to date.

According to government data, participation of women in the workforce has increased to 37% in 2022. As of March 31, 2021, 13.87 lakh Anganwadi and mini-Anganwadi centres are operational across the country.

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