New Delhi: Seeking to strengthen the support system for working mothers, the Centre has decided to expand its crèche scheme by opening of childcare facilities by municipalities and panchayats and ensure strict implementation of provision of crèches in offices.
The Women and Child Development Ministry has sent a proposal for mandatory provision of crèches in offices to the Committee of Secretaries, headed by the Cabinet Secretary.
"We have decided to expand our crèche scheme because in many places women do not have any facility where they can leave their children. We have a proposal to the Committee of Secretaries for mandatory provision of this facility," a senior ministry official said.
The proposal also envisages opening of more crèches through local municipal bodies in urban areas and gram panchayats in rural areas.
"As part of the proposal, gram panchayats and local bodies will be enrolled to open more crèches," he said.
At present, around 22,000 childcare centers are being run across the country under the Rajiv Gandhi National Crèche Scheme.
"These are run with financial assistance from the ministry. In addition, there are many private crèches being run through non-government organisations," the official said.
At present, provision for opening crèches is there in labour laws of various sectors like mining, construction and plantation. It is also there in MGNREGA. "But it is not being implemented properly," the official said.