The centre is typically a small structure created for temporary use. It is divided into three rooms a crèche for babies who are under 3 years old, a balwadi (preschool) for children aged 3 to 5 years; and a classroom for providing after school support to children above 6 years. Before any student arrives, our teachers arrive at the centre.
A Day in MMC
Mothers come to the centre with their children. They feel comfortable leaving their babies in the caring hands of our experienced teachers. Siblings say goodbye to each other as they go to their separate classrooms, with the older ones happy to be free of their premature parenting responsibilities for some time! Upon arrival, crèche babies are cleaned, powdered and given a fresh uniform to ensure proper hygiene.
Each child is given a warm breakfast of porridge made from finger millet and milk, along with a drop of multivitamins/supplements to provide them with even more nutriments.
The children have free-play, and get the opportunity to unwind by playing with simple toys. During this time, our teachers prepare breakfast.
Free play continues for the younger children and they have the opportunity to choose from activities such as water play, doll houses, picture books and sand play. The children in the after school support classroom begin their preparation for school by working on math and language skills in enjoyable interactive ways.
**The public schools run in two shifts, one in the morning the other in the afternoon. The children who go to the school attend our centre when they are not at school.
Children are given a toilet break and served a mid-morning snack of egg or fruit. Attendance is also taken to keep track of all our children.
The morning continues with activities such as physical and language development games for the crèche children and on the monthly Prakalp theme for the Balwadi (pre-primary) children. Children engage in songs and conversation about the topic. The older children dive deeper into skills such as reading, writing and maths.
Balwadi children now gather for school preparedness sessions, when the teachers engage them in reading, writing and storytelling.
Story-time/Drop Everything and Read - Books are the main focus at this time. For the younger children, a story is chosen and read out loud by the teachers. The older children pick their own books and read independently or in groups.
After a morning of fun and learning, the children eat the tasty lunch of khichdi or dal-chawal (rice and lentils) or dalia (bulgar wheat), freshly cooked by our caring teachers. We also receive part support for our nutrition programme at many of our centres from the Governments’ Integrated Child Development Services which covers children from 3-6 years of age.
Most of the children head home to spend some time with their parents, who are now on their lunch breaks.
During this time, our teachers follow up on things they need to do such as: meeting the contractor about the power supply and reminding the mothers about the doctor’s visit. Afterwards, they have their lunch and get a brief respite from a long morning of work.
The children return to the centre after having spent some quality time with their families. The balwadi have free play, arts and crafts while the crèche babies play with the toys and the older children continue working on the studies.
The Balwadi and older children’s classrooms become vibrant during this time of the day as they engage in innovative arts and crafts sessions like drawing and painting, clay work, puppet making, and, collage work, etc.
The older children’s classroom focuses on the monthly Prakalp theme, engaging in conversation and activities revolving around the theme.
The crèche babies are awake, they are given milk and changed into their regular clothing, while all the older children are fed an afternoon snack. All of the children prepare to head back home.
The children have departed and the teachers tidy the centre in preparation for the next day. All is quiet in the centre until the next morning…