Guidelines for child development centres

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The Government is planning to introduce guidelines and minimum standards for child development centres in the country.

Cabinet Spokesman, Minister Bandula Gunawardena said Cabinet approval was granted to the Cabinet Paper submitted by President Ranil Wickremesinghe for the implementation of national guidelines and minimum standards for child development centres in Sri Lanka.

Guidelines and policies prepared at the provincial level for child development centres are already being implemented to provide quality services for children in the future. However, there is a lack of nationally recognised guidance.

The initial draft of the National Guidelines and Minimum Standards for Child Development Centres was published in 2013.

This national guideline presented by the National Child Protection Authority is scheduled to be implemented islandwide covering all child development centres.

Steps have been taken to introduce these national guidelines and minimum standards under the supervision and guidance of relevant experts representing all stakeholders related to the childcare sector.

It was initiated with the study of the minimum standards available at the international level and since then, these guidelines and standards have been prepared by incorporating the facts of child development, law, health, and childcare in several stages.

These national guidelines and standards have been formulated with the contribution of experts in the field as well as officers and staff working in child development centres.

Six main areas related to childcare are covered under the National Code of Guidelines and Standards.

Proposals are to be considered in terms of these standards on the establishment and registration of child development centres, staffing of child development centres, institutionalisation and re-socialisation of children, standards for physical environment and safety, child health and welfare and complaint handling, inspection and supervision of centres.