Centre To Reposition 14 Lakh Anganwadis For ‘Early Childhood Care And Education’

New Delhi: Anganwadi centres will be reimagined and recalibrated to focus not only on the nutritional aspect of children and mothers but also on the early learning of children under 6 years, particularly those under three years in alignment with the Centre’s plan to push ‘Early Childhood Care and Education’ through 14 lakh Anganwadi centres this year under the ‘Poshan Bhi, Padhai Bhi’ slogan as per the announcement made by Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Smriti Irani in September last year.

 Early learning has proven to be a foundation for a child’s development and has always been a part of the government’s Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS). But it has largely been neglected as it has, so far, been seen as secondary to nutrition.

The government now plans to reposition Anganwadis as pre-schools as well, providing early learning access, particularly to children from socially and educationally backward communities. The WCD Ministry had set up a 22-member high-level task force, chaired by former IAS officer Sanjay Kaul, to look into the matter. The task force submitted its report to the ministry in August last year, and a number of its recommendations are now being considered for implementation by the government.

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