Regulating Playschools

Posted by The Open Page | 10th April 2017

Playschool with Day care is a lucrative business if implemented intelligently with quality. To open a playschool one needs permission of only a local municipal authority and from the society in which the house is located in which the playschool is planned to be opened. These playschools are not regulated in any way otherwise. Many incidents of child abuse in these schools have come to light. This has made the Government to plan rules to regulate preschools. Ministry of Women and Child Development, Govt of India, is formulating these guidelines for issuance. These rules are likely to be affected soon. Therefore, I am of the opinion that these proposed rules and guide lines must be known to public and also discussed and debated.The main guidelines being planned to be included are:
-All schools will have to be registered with designated district authority.
-Existing schools will have to register with these authorities within 6 months.
-No child below three years can be given admission in these schools. Though this law exist in Gujarat, schools find ways to admit children even from the age of one and a half years. This is because of almost no enforcement methodology.
-School will not be allowed to collect any capitation fees.
-No interview/ selection procedure is allowed before giving admission.
-At least one teacher for 20 children
-At least one care – taker for every 20 children
-Building should have adequate safety measures.
-CCTV cameras covering all areas is mandatory
-School hours has to be more than 3 to 4 hours per day.
Many such rules and guidelines in various forms are issued by various authorities many a times. However due to lack of implementation clarity and strict enforcement by the government, these guidelines have remained on paper. 
However, can we blame only the government for it? What about we the parents? I myself did not want to put my grandson in the pre-school before he is three years old. However, due to various reasons, I had to agree to put him in playschool when he was two years old. I also know the parents who put their children in playschool when the child is one and a half years of age. In that school mother also has to accompany the child and sit with him. All these pre-schools who admit children below three years have the reasons and names. Some call it day care units and some call it with some other names. But the fact remains that children start going to school as early at one and a half years of age. These schools not only violate the child care principles and guidelines but have become status symbols too. Finland is supposed to have the best education system in the world. But in Finland children do not go to schools till they are six years old.
I am sure there are different views on the subject. But these views must be debated and best practices must be evolved and followed strictly. Regulating the play schools is surely desirable ensuring strict standards and quality adherence and security and safety of the children. Afterall these are the formative years for the children who are our future.

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