img_4453   What is a crèche? A crèche is an early intervention program that provides free head start services to poverty stricken children. Help Kids India’s (HKI) crèches (in partnership with Betsy Elizabeth Trust) are modeled around the Montessori ideals of educating the individual child to learn life skills and become independent.  Our crèches are located in Tamil Nadu, India.     Education with Color EnhancementEach of our crèches provides day-care and basic health services for 50 children, 2-5 years old in addition to basic shelter, food, education and spiritual nurturing. Children of all religions are accepted into the crèches. Each crèche is managed by the Betsy Elizabeth Trust (BET) and runs from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, 6 days a week, 11 months a year.   They provide children with a head start in life through developmentally appropriate education from trained teachers.   EatingEach year, every child receives two new uniforms, a sweater, a pair of shoes and a book bag. They also receive 2 nutritious meals and a snack daily, which helps offset malnutrition and fosters brain development. The height and weight for each child is charted monthly to identify those who are not gaining weight for further medical care and a full time nurse screens all children weekly.         PT TeachersIndian women who are trained in early childhood education teach lessons in Tamil, the local language. Counting, writing the Tamil alphabet, memorizing stories and traditional rhymes, dancing to popular music, drawing and playing games are the daily routine. Emphasis on good health practices such as washing hands, coughing on your sleeve, using the toilet, and brushing teeth are also demonstrated for the children to learn.       The ripple of positive benefits from each crèche spreads to the whole community.   Parent job 5Older siblings, who are often kept at home to care for younger ones, are able to return to school. Parents are able to work the fields, stone  quarries or forests as laborers and know that their children are cared for while they are away at work. There are approximately 250 children currently being served by the crèches and each crèche helps to break the cycle of poverty and brings hope for a better life.