The Crèche – Care for the Whole Community

What is a Crèche

The Crèche – Care for the Whole Community

The Betsy Elizabeth Trust crèches serve children from the most disadvantaged families in the outlying villages of Kodaikanal.

While Kodaikanal is popular as a tourist town, the poorest of its native population are pushed to the margins. Illiterate and vulnerable, these families exist on temporary, poorly paid jobs as labourers in the fields, forests and quarries. With a lack of education, income and opportunity, they live amidst those better off, but without the resources to provide for their children.

The concept is to offer early education, nutrition and healthcare in a safe and caring environment, freeing parents to work to support the family and older siblings to attend school. The young children thrive in the safe haven that is, the crèche.

The crèche provides:

Three healthy meals a day: to prevent hunger and provide nutrition.
Basic healthcare: to monitor height and weight as the crèche nurse keeps an attentive eye
Hygiene: to develop a daily routine of tooth brushing and handwashing.
Story time: to read and tell stories with pride.
Literacy: to ensure a strong start to primary school.
Numeracy: to be able to count is a skill for school and life.
Social skills and play: to develop communication skills, relationships and a sense of community.
Performance: to foster a sense of confidence through theatre, songs and dance.
Exercise: to grow up active and healthy.
Rest: to compensate for hours of sleep lost in small, crowded homes where children sleep on the floor.

The children who graduate from the BET crèches are admitted to the better primary schools in the area, and many continue on to secondary and even higher education. Some of the crèche children have even gone on to become nurses and teachers, in turn serving their families and community.

The crèches promote education and health, helping to break the cycle of poverty and empower the entire community. Here, the children find love, hope and a better start in life.