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National Creche Scheme


National Creche Scheme UPSC: Relevance

  • GS 2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.


National Creche Scheme: Context

  • In the recently released reply to an RTI, Ministry of Women and Child Development has said that no funds were released by the Centre in FY 2021-22 for the functioning of creches under the National Creche Scheme.


National Creche Scheme: Key points

  • The response said that creches have not been functional under this scheme since the outbreak of Covid-19.
  • However, upon investigation it was found out that creches in several cities were functional during this period, utilising funds from their own corpus.
  • The ministry’s response also says that the budget allocation for the scheme has come down by 59 per cent between FY19 and FY22.
  • Moreover, more than 11,000 creches were functioning under this scheme have been shut down between FY18 and FY20.
  • While there were 18,040 creches at the beginning of FY18, by FY20 the number had shrunk to 6,450.


National Creche Scheme_40.1


Creches during Covid

  • While ₹53 crore was budgeted for the scheme in FY22, the expense was revised to ₹4 crore.
  • The actual expense as shown in the Union Budget of 2022 is zero.
  • In FY21, when the lockdowns were stringent, ₹11.6 crore was spent under this scheme.


National Creche Scheme_50.1


What is National creche scheme?

  • Ministry of Women and Child Development is implementing the National Creche Scheme for Children of Working Mothers as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme from 2017 to provide day care facilities to children (age group of 6 months to 6 years) of working mothers.
  • The Scheme provides an integrated package of the following services:
    • Day care facilities including sleeping facilities.
    • Early stimulation for children below 3 years and pre-school education for 3 to 6 years old children
    • Supplementary nutrition (to be locally sourced)
    • Growth monitoring
    • Health check-up and immunization


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