Kerala leads in child care survey

Kerala leads in child care survey
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NEW DELHI: A report compiled by a non-governmental organisation Mobile Creches, has placed Kerala, Mizoram, Goa, Tamil Nadu and Tripura as the states with best services to ensure well-being of children. The report was launched by M. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice-President of India.

The Young Child Outcomes Index measures health, nutrition and cognitive growth with the help of indicators such as Infant Mortality Rate (IMF), Stunting and Net Attendance at the primary school level. It identified eight states that have scores below the country’s average namely Meghalaya, Assam, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.  The index has is constructed for 2005–2006 and 2015–2016 to compare the status of different states and work for it.

This index is part of the ‘State of the Child’ in India report released by the 50-year-old NGO that has been working in the field of early childhood care and development by ensuring crèche and other services at construction sites across several cities. 

The report has also developed another index called the Young Child Environment Index, to understand the policy that influences a child’s well-being. Environment Index indicates that Kerala, Goa, Sikkim, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh have secured the top five positions. It uses five indicators that influence child well-being outcomes, including poverty alleviation, improving primary healthcare and education levels, safe water supply and promotion of gender equity.

The report suggests for an increase in public spending on children. According to its analysis on expenses for Child Nutrition, Healthcare, Education and other necessary protection services, India spent Rs 1,723 per child in 2018–2019. This is not a sufficient amount and policies did not fulfil their aim either.

The Report points out that while the budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Women and Child Development has seen an increase every year, all the additional funds have been allocated towards nutrition delivery under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS). 

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