In today’s busy lifestyles, where both mother and father are working, parents do not get a lot of time to spend with their children and vice versa. When children are all grown up, it doesn’t make a lot of difference, but what about when the kids are toddlers and require the attention of parents? For such problems, someone once came up with the solution of day care centers.
What is a day Care Center?
A day care center is a specialized school for kids, who are yet not eligible to be admitted into a playschool and require someone who can look after them for the day, while the parents have other commitments to sort out. The best part of a day care centre is that they offer a structured environment, where the structure is very friendly and warm and the child does not get cranky.
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Advantages of Day Care Center
Advantages of a day care center could be –
- Proper inspection: Day care centers are inspected before getting the license to operate. Thus, they follow all legal procedures that they should have, with so many small children around them.
- Certified care takers: The teachers and attendants are certified in taking care of children and know how to handle kids at different stages of the toddler’s mood.
- Stability in timings: Day care centers have their own timings and thus the parent knows what is expected out of them and they know when to drop off their child and when to pick them up.
- Learning for toddlers: Day care centers specialize in taking care of kids and in order to engage the kids through out the day, they have customized programs, events, and activities planned for the day. This keeps the kid busy, while they also indulge in some productive learning from the very beginning. Since, toddler is an age where kids quickly grasp things, this is the best age to teach them all that can be taught.
- Networking at a tender age: Kids spend a lot of time with other kids and thus pick up other good habits and learn how to make friends and behave in public.
- Turn certain other disadvantages into their benefit: Day care centers overlook the disadvantages of Nanny – for example, a parent does not have to look for another alternative at the last moment, when the Nanny calls in sick. In short, the option of day care centers are more reliable and stable
A research conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development brings in a major finding, that those toddlers who are admitted in good daycare centers tend to have higher intellectual traits, as compared to those who do not go to a day care or go to a day care that is not of good quality. The result of this research is tried and tested. When researchers compared toddlers of different daycare centers, the children from high-quality day care centers performed better in tests as compared to other day care centers.
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Is it really as safe as we think?
While one cannot deny all the advantages a day care bring to the plate, but are we really ready to send our kids out in the open, without a parent? Like, is the environment of the day care as safe as it would have been made by the mother?
Disadvantages of Day Care Center:
There have been lots of cases, where a child falls sick because of the dust of the environment. What about the communicable diseases a child might catch because of the sickness of other children and staff members at the day care?
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Also we never know how other children behave. What about the risk of your child quickly grasping the wrong habits – for a small instance, what if your child was a very joyful kid and knew how to ask for things he wanted. But when he sees other kids crying their way out to get the attention and things they desire, he also picked up this habit of getting cranky and stubborn, till he gets what he asks for?
The bottom line is that while a day care has both its own advantages and disadvantages, it is up to the parents to gauge it all, keeping in mind their schedules and priorities and then take a decision as to whether they and their child is actually ready for a day care center.
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The Indian Scenario of Day Care Centers:
The concept of day care centers have been adopted in India from the foreign culture. Are Indians actually ready to take up the entire concept of day care? Not really. Here, day care centers hire anybody and everybody who applies for a job at the center. Not everybody at a day care center is actually trained to take care of kids, and we all know how frustrating it can get to handle so many kids at once. For once, we can consider that the metropolitan cities will not do such a thing, but what about Tier II and Tier III cities? In fact, if we look at statistics and reports that have come forth, there have been so many incidents that have been reported, where kids have been tortured at day care centers from all cities – be it Delhi, Mumbai, Bhopal or Assam!
Just recently in November 2016, there was a shocking occurrence reported from Mumbai, where a 10 months old baby girl was allegedly beaten up without any pity by her Day care center care taker. This incident happened at Purva Play School and Creche in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, where the small baby girl was literally tortured by her so called ‘caretaker’. Imagine the parent’s plight, where the person whom they believed and trusted would take care of their child was the one who has actually let the girl suffer the beats at such a tender age! As soon as the incident was reported at the Kharghar Police Station, the police arrested the care taker and the owner of the day care center.
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The word of Ministers:
The entire incident’s video went viral on all kinds of social media networks and to this, Pankaja Munde – Maharashtra Women and Child Development Minister told in a statement that they have now made it compulsory for the presence of CCTV cameras to be there at every child care center and other institutions that deal with children.
The parent’s alertness helped reveal the case:
The entire incident wouldn’t have come into the notice, unless the infant’s parents wouldn’t have noticed the wound on their daughter’s forehead. On that day, the parents – Ruchita and Rajat Sinha, as usual left their daughter at the day care center. In the evening, when both of them like every day went to pick up their child, the mother noticed the wound on her child’s forehead and immediately confronted the owner Nikam. Upon questioning, Ruchita was not happy as she assumed Nikam to be guilty and thus, she observed that Nikam wasn’t answering properly to her questions. Thereafter, the parents immediately went to a doctor for consultation, and the doctor told them that it could be a suspect of child abuse. Both Ruchita and Rajat did not waste any moment after that. They immediately went to the area police station and filed a complaint and plead to investigate the matter further.
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The police took serious actions and rushed to the day care center to investigate further. They met the owner and the care taker and questioned them about the incident. Later, they asked for CCTV footage and the parents and the police – both were shocked to see footage, where Shiekh (the care taker) was brutally slapping and beating lot of children, while on duty. It also showed Sheikh beating up Rajat and Ruchita’s daughter, while other children were fast asleep.
The video has the clear recording where Sheik has been seen throwing the child, kicking her and hitting her despite seeing that the little girl is getting hurt. The police immediately lodged a case against the care taker and the day care center. They arrested Sheik and Nikam and filed an official complaint under Section 35 of IPC, which is against voluntarily causing grievous hurt and Section 23 of Juvenile Justice Act 2000, which covers the care and protection of children.
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After the case was reported:
After the entire incident, the 10 months old kid was being treated at a private hospital for the injuries she had suffered due to the brutal act. The video that had gone viral demanded justice and forced the authorities to make it compulsory to install CCTV cameras in all the day care centers, with immediate effect.
Bottom line: As a parent, take up the responsibility and ownership:
As a parent, it is your responsibility to take care of your child’s safety. There is no use of crying over spilled milk. You can only do a damage control once the damage has been made. But don’t you think, precaution is better than cure? We are not telling that do not trust day care centers and use their facilities. Go ahead and avail all facilities that an environment brings to you, but do your homework first and make sure you are choosing quality over money and are having a proper background search done before choosing a day care center. Ask people, take reviews and repeat the same for a number of day care centers before finalizing on one. After all the question of your kids safety is in hands.