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 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 gone on to become nurses and teachers, in turn serving and empowering the next generation of 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.
WHAT DOES THE CRÈCHE PROVIDE?
Exercise: to grow up active and healthy.
Performance: to foster a sense of confidence through theatre, songs and dance.
Rest: to compensate for hours of sleep lost in small, crowded homes where children sleep on the floor.
Three healthy meals a day: to prevent hunger and provide nutrition.
Numeracy: to be able to count is a skill for school and life.
Literacy: to ensure a strong start to primary school.
Hygiene: to develop a daily routine of toothbrushing and handwashing.
Social skills and play: to develop communication skills, relationships and a sense of community.
Basic healthcare: to monitor height and weight as the crèche nurse keeps an attentive eye
Storytime: to read and tell stories with pride.