Culture of workplace creche is catching on

A creche set up by the Women and Child Development Department at the Kerala Public Service Commission headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday.

A creche set up by the Women and Child Development Department at the Kerala Public Service Commission headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: S. MAHINSHA

Nabeesu M. had to entrust her young child to a woman in Nagaroor if she wanted to be at work every day. If the nanny did not turn up, the child would have to be dropped off at the homes of her husband’s siblings. Nabeesu who had welcomed her daughter after many years of marriage would still worry endlessly about the little one’s health.

In January, she heard that a creche was finally coming up at the Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC) office where she worked. That was enough for Nabeesu and her family to move to the city in March. Five months later, the creche at the PSC office is ready for inauguration on Wednesday, and Nabeesu, a first-grade computer assistant, could not be happier.

“The creche is a blessing for working women with young children. My daughter is three-and-a-half years old now, but even after she begins schooling, she can stay at the creche after returning from school. And I can look in on her whenever I am needed.”

Sreedevi V., attender at the PSC office, says she could not hold back tears when she saw the creche being readied to welcome children. Sreedevi plans to drop off her one-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter at the creche since her daughter is attending coaching classes, and there is no one else to look after the child at Powdikonam where they live. “She was a long-awaited child. I cannot take leaves anymore. Nor can the child be left with someone since I will not be able to check in on her. The creche is an answer to our prayers.”

So far, 26 have registered for the creche facility. The creche will have a ‘teacher’ and helper on the lines of anganwadis. A paediatrician will visit once a week.

25 more creches

Women and Child Development department officials say 25 such childcare centres will be set up in workplaces this year as part of the National Creche Scheme. These will come up in government/public offices with more than 50 employees, men or women, as per the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017. This will promote gender-neutral child care as men too could bring their children to the creches, they say.

Another creche is coming up at Kinfra Park here. Devu V., machine operator at Bodygear International Pvt. Ltd., says her three-year-old son is looked after by her mother at Attingal. “The creche will allow me to bring him to my workplace. He will gain from the company of other children too. The creche will allow many more women to come to work since they will not have to worry about the children anymore.”

Nearly 10 women from Bodygear have registered their children at the creche, and employees from more companies are expected to join in. “The registration is on. It will increase once the creche opens,” says Jeeva Anandan, chief executive officer of the park.

Minister for Women and Chlld Development Veena George will inaugurate the first creche at the PSC at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

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Printable version | Sep 15, 2022 1:48:21 pm |