India Employment Law Update – Standardizing Crèches across India: The National Minimum Standards and Protocol for Crèches (Operation and Management) 



Author: Samiron Borkataky (Partner) and Srishti Kanwar (Senior Associate)

On January 30, 2024, the Ministry of Women and Child Development released the National Minimum Standards and Protocol for Crèches (Operation and Management) (“NMSPC”). The NMSPC provides a comprehensive framework for setting up and managing crèche facilities and seeks to ensure quality childcare services by standardizing and institutionalizing care practices.

It is noteworthy that apart from certain states such as Karnataka, Haryana, and Maharashtra, no other states have formulated specific guidelines for crèche facilities. By adopting the NMSPC, uniform standards for providing crèche facilities can be implemented, thereby enhancing the quality of crèche services nationwide.

While the NMSPC serves as a set of suggestive guidelines, it also provides an opportunity for employers to effectively meet their existing compliance requirements for providing crèche facilities, as mandated under various labour legislations such as the Maternity Benefits Act, 1961, and the Factories Act, 1948. By offering secure crèche facilities for children, employers enable women to balance their work responsibilities with their maternal duties, thereby promoting increased female workforce participation- an essential factor for fostering women-led development.

Emphasizing the significance of crèche facilities that offer a safe and nurturing environment for children while their parents or guardians are at work, the NMSPC prescribes standards and protocols that can be considered to achieve this objective.

Key Considerations before Establishing a Crèche: Before establishing a crèche, several key considerations should be taken into account. The parameters suggest that the crèche must be located near the homes of children or near the workplace of the parents, facilitating quick contact in case of emergencies. In terms of safety, it is recommended to have mandatory CCTV cameras installed to ensure supervision at the crèche. Additionally, displaying all emergency and important contact details on boards is advised. The NMSPC also requires local police stations, the Women and Child Development/Social Welfare Department, and the Labor Department to have access to all information relating to the crèche facility.

Crèche Administrative Committee: Each crèche facility will have a Crèche Administrative Committee (CAC), which consists of a crèche administrator appointed by the establishment setting up the crèche, a crèche supervisor, and preferably three parents or guardians of the beneficiary children. The CAC will be responsible for conducting safety inspections, resolving disputes between parents and service providers, and other related responsibilities.

Staff Requirements and their Qualifications: To handle 20-25 children in a crèche, at least one crèche supervisor, who holds a minimum of a 12th grade qualification, and one crèche helper, with a minimum of a 10th grade qualification, are required. Ideally, crèche staff should possess a minimum of 2 years of experience in the childcare sector, either professionally or through volunteer work, and preferably hold a diploma in Childcare or Nursing.

Prerequisites for Hiring Staff: Before hiring staff for the crèche, it is essential to obtain a police verification certificate, a character certificate, and a medical certificate.

Services to be provided in the Crèche:

  • Monthly meetings should be organized for parents to provide feedback.
  • The childcare centre must store first-aid kits, medical kits, and fire extinguishers on the premises, and have arrangements in place with the nearest available health facility to provide immediate assistance.
  • Records and registers containing admission details of children, their attendance, medical records, visitor logs, and inspection reports should be meticulously maintained.


Conclusion: The lack of uniformity in crèche standards among states highlights the necessity for nationwide adoption of the NMSPC. Embracing these standards will ensure consistent and equitable practices, guaranteeing that children receive optimal care regardless of their location. Further, the release of the NMSPC not only signifies a significant advancement in women-led development and the realization of Viksit Bharat's vision but also offers employers an opportunity to employers to contribute to the growth and development of the future generation while fostering a culture that values work-life balance. This initiative represents a pivotal step towards creating a more inclusive and progressive society, prioritizing the needs of both women and their families, and leading to a more sustainable and equitable future for all.




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