National guidelines issued for child day care centers

HYM13PLAY_SCHOOL_2054460fThe National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) and the Prime Minister’s Office have drafted a comprehensive National guideline for child day care centers in the country.

It aims to ensure quality assured, standardized processes among centers nationwide, promote quality, safe, and caring child care facilities and child care givers, ensure child care and overall childhood development needs are met and aligned with individual developmental goals and to improve and provide guidance for setting up child care centers to reach the specified standards and extend services for children up to the age of 18 years.

The drafting process has included wide-ranging consultations, both at the national level and the provincial and district levels with the Department of Probation and Childcare Services, the Children’s Secretariat, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs, the Attorney General’s Department, National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA), Open University of Sri Lanka, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), International Non-Government Organizations (INGOs), workers from child day care centers, and experts in the field.

Under the guidelines, Provincial Probation Commissioners will register and monitor child day care centers.

The guidelines stipulate standards on caregiver to children ratio, recruitment processes, minimum qualifications for child care givers, care center infrastructure, care, learning, play, etc.

The guidelines provide a grace period of 2 years for child day care centers to achieve the standards set out.

In a parallel process, the NCPA has developed a draft National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) level 4 curriculum on Child Care Giving and is collaborating with NAITA and Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) to promptly make them available for child care workers and those interested in this subject. (Colombo Gazette)