In a fresh effort aimed at encouraging more women to work, the Prime Minister’s Office together with the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has drafted a comprehensive National Guideline for Child Care Centres to ensure quality day care services across Sri Lanka.
The guidelines aim 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 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.
A joint statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office and the NCPA said, “In order to guarantee that more women enter the workplace, the Government ensures quality child day care throughout the country.”
The guideline drafting process included wide-ranging consultations, from the national level and the provincial and district levels: as well as from 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 expert 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,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, in a parallel process, the NCPA has developed a draft National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) level 4 curriculums 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.