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18 March 2015 | 16:24

Pilot projet « Early childhood » in India : a huge success and an example for the region

© Aina Trust

Together with its partner Aina Trust, BICE implemented its pilot project « Early childhood » in Bangalore, in March 2012. The aim was to test a system of home childcare/childminders for mothers who would normally be obliged to take their infants with them to work, in conditions that would be dangerous and undignified for children. 

Since then, 60 children of silk workers have been cared for by 15 childminders.

They spend their days in a safe environment, far from the dangerous conditions of their mothers’ workplace.

Extremely positive results

BICE recently carried out a field visit, to evaluate the the last three years of this project. The results were extremely positive :

  • For the children : happy and in good health, they are thriving, and developing their full physical and intellectual potential.
  • For the families : a series of workshops, teaching them about positive educational methods, hygiene and nutrition for infants.
  • For the childminders : these women, who previously had no fixed source of income, are now able to have a decent standard of living.

This project has now been recognised as a huge success by the community.

Future goals for the project

Phase 2 of this project will entail recruiting and training 15 extra childminders. We will be able to double the number of children and families who are beneficiaries.

Aina Trust is looking for new daycare centres for the infants, and will provide professional training for the childminders.

Public authorities take their lead from the BICE project

The Ministry of Women and Child Development has expressed interest in the project.

Thanks to encouragement from the Integrated Child Development Service, the practices of this project can be serve as a model for public childcare systems.

Public nursery in Bangalore function poorly : they are open only 2 hours a day and run by untrained and unmotivated staff. They are not trusted by the community.

On the 19 and 20 February, 50 childcare professionals participated in a presentation and training seminar. The training component was centred upon the methods and practices implemented by Aina Trust during the BICE project. Our partner will be seen in the coming years as a childhood resource centre.

BICE and Aina Trust will participate in the strengthening of public childcare structures.