On 24 March 2020, the Government of India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a nationwide lockdown that closed thousands of Daycare Centres/Creche across the country. While educational institutions like schools and colleges continue to receive Fee from parents for the lockdown period, Daycare Centres are left to fend for themselves. With the government’s stance on pushing ‘no fee’ for parents on one hand and on the other ‘payment of salary’ to the staff, the Daycares are taking a beating from all sides.
The Indian Daycare Industry provides employment to over a Lakh skilled and unskilled workers out of which 80% are women. This industry has provided an opportunity for many women entrepreneurs to start their own business and support their households as well as provide decent employment to a number of women. Many Daycares face the peril of shutting down completely as they don’t have the cash to cover their operational costs like wages to staff, rent etc.
The effect of the closure of Daycares will not only result in loss of jobs for daycare employees but also loss of jobs for women who depend on Daycares so that they can go to work while their children are being taken care of. With the restrictions on Lockdown easing and offices and industries opening up, it is essential to provide guidelines for the opening of Daycares as well. With an increasing number of nuclear families in India, it will be impossible for the parents to resume office without the back support of daycare.
The Govt. of India proactively introduced an amendment to the Maternity Benefit Act in 2017 to provide daycare facilities to working women so that they can continue with their careers even after childbirth. But the current day situation of Govt. turning a blind eye at the Daycares will be a step backward in the path of creating an equal employment opportunity for women.
We request the Ministry of Women and Child Development to help the Daycare Industry by:
- Provide a relief fund to Daycares to avoid thousands of employees losing their jobs
- Provide Guidelines for opening up of Daycares in tandem with the easing of lockdown and resumption of economic activities. Esp for Essential services/Healthcare worker
We request you to help the Daycares by signing this petition to Save the Daycare Industry.