Isn’t it strange that over the last few years or even months I could say, there has been a rise in new day care centers opening in Karachi.
Let alone in Defence and Clifton which already has a large number of day care centers, PECHS, Gulshan are also booming with this business.
I am not denying the need for day care centers, of course working parents need them, and mostly working mothers need them.
The Rising Need of Day Cares
With the recent changes in our society, like the increasing shift towards nuclear family, inflation, energy crisis, far distances from one’s family, and the dire need of the mothers to start their career ASAP, day care centers in the vicinity of a neighborhood provide a huge relief.
But unfortunately, just like private schools and private colleges, day care centers are also setting foot in this “education business.” Which is trading for services, like education or child care.
But what I see happening now especially with day care centers is that the service feature is declining and only the business element is left.
Usually, a day care center caters children aged 2 months to around 5 years of age, but this also depends on different countries and cities that have varying age requirements.
However, in Karachi, I see children aged 1 year and up mostly admitted in day care centers.
But there is something very important to consider before opting a day care center in Karachi and that is, “Are they qualified for the service?”
Recently, my boys and I attended a birthday party at a so-called play center cum activity center cum day care, in Clifton.
This day care was made in a 2 story apartment, there was no outdoor play area, it looked very crammed.
Another thing, there were many tiled stairs leading to the upper section. These stairs were very slippery.
Although the interior looked very colorful and attractive, the actual soul of the building was missing, which was meant to give space to infants and toddlers, for interactive play.
I did not appreciate the caretaking staff, as well, who looked more like ramp models rather than affectionate and mature women who have an experience of childcare. They were coated with makeup and had long painted nails! Who in the world keeps long nails when working with little ones unless they are your own.
But the biggest bummer of all was that they did not have a proper functioning back up generator! And all the kids at the party were drenched in their sweat.
And honestly there was nothing really exciting, because kids are not attracted to colorful walls, or wall art, their number one priority is interactivity. Becuase almost every child has his/her own avalanche of toys, but the only thing missing is the attention and time of an adult, which they crave most. Now this attention can be of the parent or the caregiver.
Based on my observations I have compiled a list of critical features you must consider before admitting your child in a day care
(Also please bear in mind that these points are based on the GUIDELINES AND STANDARDS FOR DAY CARE CENTRES WOMEN DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT GOVERNMENT OF THE PUNJAB) couldn’t find one for Sindh 🙁
10 Red Flags to Look Out For a Day Care Center in Karachi
It Is NOT Roomy Enough
I know most of us are unaware of the exact standard for space in a room for a group of children. Well, its there and its pretty much calculated. Take a look:-
The stairs are NOT Nonskid
Exceeding Number of Children in One Group
The child and Staff ratio is NOT according to standards
The absence of Fire Alarms and Fire Extinguisher
Most of them have it, but still many don’t, check for yourself
The Staff is NOT First Aid Trained
This one is sooo important many lives are saved due to prompt first aid services
The Staff is NOT Trained for Fire Safety
Accidents can happen anywhere and anytime. Better be prepared than sorry
The Staff is NOT Medically Examined
As a Microbiology student, I know that many people are carriers of diseases( they carry the disease within without the visible symptoms) so a thorough medical examination is quite promising.
The Staff is below 18 years of Age
So if you see a really young girl or young boy doing the job, just ask their age
The Manager is NOT Qualified
Did you know its compulsory for the manager to have the proper qualifications to run a day care center?
Just like me, you will also be better informed by reading these guidelines. I also know that there are standard rules and guidelines for every sector in our country, which are not always followed, however, the more and more the public is informed and takes tiny steps in questioning the authority, services, and sectors can be improved.