Early Childhood and Child Care Services in India

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSVS1EC1012

Semester and Year Offered: Semester-1, Monsoon 2017

Course Coordinator and Team: Sheetal Nagpal and Sunita Singh and Fariha Siddiqui

Email of course coordinator:

Pre-requisites: None


The objectives of the course are to help students to:

  • To understand about ‘childhood’ as defined across socio-cultural contexts.
  • To describe multiple factors influencing the development of children across socio- cultural realities and contexts in India.
  • To be sensitive towards diverse developmental and contextual needs of children.
  • To understand the changing family dynamics and prospects associated with day care facilities in our country.
  • To become familiar with government policies and provisions for child care and variety
  • of child care services available for children in the organized and unorganized sectors in our country.
  • To discuss the status of training of early childhood care professionals.

Course Outcomes:

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Define childhood across socio-cultural contexts
  • Identify and describe factors influencing the development of children across socio-cultural realities and contexts in India
  • Analyse and list diverse developmental and contextual needs of children
  • Examine family dynamics and child rearing practices in Indian context
  • Describe policies and provisions for child care services available in organized and unorganized sectors in our country
  • Define the roles and skill set required by early childcare professionals
  • Plan and execute training for childcare centre staff
  • Analyse the status of training of early childcare professionals training in Indian context

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Module 1: Introduction to ‘childhood’ and key concepts in child development:

This module describes ‘who is a child’ and ‘what is childhood’ from historical, anthropological, sociological perspectives. Then module discusses historical and modern conceptions of child care in India and socio-cultural realities of childhood in India.

Module 2: Child Care in India

Given the criticality and the rapid rate of development during the early years, it is imperative that children be provided with adequate care, protection, nutrition and stimulation. Further, with the changing family dynamics, quality child care facilities are necessary. This module will provide an overview of the diverse child care services available in India run by public, private and non-governmental service providers including AnganwadiCentres, Crèches, private preschools, etc. While, various legislations make it mandatory for employers to make provisions for day care, the needs of working women especially in the un-organised sector is not addressed adequately. Further, child care is also largely influenced by the socioeconomic and sociocultural environments in the households—often also contributing to inequities in provisions. Assessment Details with weights:

S. No.




Reflections on ECCE



Written report

Written 35%


Term End Exam

Written 35%


Attendance and in-class participation.

Written  and oral10%

Reading List:

Reading List:

  1. Anandlakshmy, S. (1998).The cultural context.In M, Swaminathan (Ed.).The first five years: A critical perspective on early childhood care and education in India. (pp. 272-284).New Delhi: Sage.
  2. Khalakdina, M. (1979).Early child care in India. London: Gordan& Breach.

Chapter 2 Historical overview of child care (pp. 14-18).

Chapter 3 Prevailing conceptions regarding the upbringing of the child (pp. 19-32).

  1. Maynard, T. & Thomas, N. (2009). (2nd ed.). An introduction to early childhood studies.New  Delhi: Sage.

Chapter 1 Childhood in different cultures (pp. 9-20).

Chapter 2 Childhood through the ages (pp. 21-32).

  1. Swaminathan, M. (n.d.).Play activities for young children. UNICEF Regional Office for South Central Asia. 97p
  2. Swaminathan, M. (1998).The First Five Years: A Critical Perspective on Early Childhood Care and Education in India. New Delhi: Sage.
  3. Times of India. (March 31, 2017). National creche policy to bring day care closer to home.Retrieved from
  4. Asha Bajpayee book on Child Right. Chapter 1 (section on who is a child can be discussed)     Laura Berk Development through the life span chapter 1 (section on stages of human development can be taken)         
  5. Morrow, V (2011,) 'Understanding children and childhood', Centre for Children and Young People: Background Briefing Series, no. 1. © Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, Australia.
  6. "Ministry of Women and Child Development.(n.d.).Rajiv Gandhi National Creche Scheme For the Children of Working Mothers. Retrieved from:; Retrieved from
  7. Mumbai Mirror. (May 27, 2017). In a First, Guidelines to Regulate Day Care Centres.Retrieved  from:                                                                                   Times of India. (March 31, 2017). National crèche policy to bring day care closer to home. Retrieved from           
  8. Kaul, V., &Sankar, D. (2009).Early childhood care and education in India.World Bank.

Retrieved from: (some sections can be taught)


  1. Bromer, J. &Henly, J. R. (2004).Child care as family support: Caregiving practices across child care providers. Children and Youth Services Review, 26(10);pp. 941-964.
  2. Chaudhary, N. (2012). Childhood in Indian families: Shared experiences and emerging personal cultures in a heterogeneous society. In M. Kaur, H. M. Koot, & M Lamb (Eds.), Developmental psychology and education: Bridging the gap. pp. 27 – 51. New Delhi: ICSSR, NWO, ESRC &Manak Publications.
  3. Harkness, S., Super, C.M., Mavridis, C.J., Barry, O., Zeitlin, M. (2013). Culture and early

childhood development. In P.R. Britto, P.L.Engle& C.M. Super (Eds.).Handbook of early childhood development research and its impact on global policy (pp. 142-160). New York: Oxford University Press.

  1. James, A. & James, A. (2012).Key concepts in childhood studies. New delhi: Sage.
  2. Montgomery, H. (2008).An Introduction to Childhood: Anthropological Perspectives on Children's Lives.John Wiley & Sons.
  3. Selin, H. (2013). Parenting Across Cultures: Childrearing, Motherhood and Fatherhood in Non-Western Cultures. Springer Science & Business Media, (pp. 39-45).
  4. Wyness, M. (2012).Childhood and Society (2nd ed.). Palgrave Macmillan.
  5. Caughy, M. O. B., DiPietro, J. A., &Strobino, D. M. (1994). Day‐Care Participation as a
  6. Protective Factor in the Cognitive Development of Low‐Income Children.Child development, 65(2), 457-471.
  7. Dyson, T., & Moore, M. (1983). On kinship structure, female autonomy, and demographic behavior in India. Population and development review, 35-60.
  8. Manichander, T. (2016).Early Childhood Care and Education.Solapur: LaxmiBook  Publication. Network, E. C. C. R. (2003). Does amount of time spent in child care predict socioemotional adjustment during the transition to kindergarten?. Child Development, 74(4), 976-1005.
  9. Seymour, S. C. (1999). Women, family, and child care in India: A world in transition. Cambridge University Press
  10. Sharma, D., &LeVine, R. A. (1998). Child care in India: A comparative developmental view of infant social environments. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 1998(80), 45-67.
  11. Sharma, M., &Kanani, S. (2006).Grandmothers’ influence on child care.The Indian Journal of Pediatrics, 73(4), 295-298.

Vandell, D. L., Henderson, V. K., & Wilson, K. S. (1988). A longitudinal study of children with day-care experiences of varying quality. Child Development, 1286-1292.