Reshma Shrinivas – Founder, WeCare Learning Pvt Ltd
WeCare Learning Pvt Ltd started by Mrs. Reshma Shrinivas in 2008 is a chain of daycare and play group centers with its head office at HSR Layout, Bangalore. As an IT professional when she came back from USA, she realized that “there are lot of women going on maternity but not coming back to work as they don’t have support to take care of their children.” At that time, the norm with all daycare centers was to take children from 2.5 years.
Reshma Shrinivas wanted to start a daycare center with the following ideas:
· To start a daycare center with preschool to take children very young.
· To accept children as early as 1.5 (6 weeks) months old
She says the school has a robust program to ensure that children learn lots before they go to first grade. It is a whole holistic development that includes emotional development, creative development, language, cognitive, and physical developments. Parents are informed of the robust curriculum with lots of programs comparable and even better than many other schools.
Reshma Shrinivas says that there are 11 daycare centers now. The idea was to help mothers nurse babies. The centers should be close to where the mother is working. Also young children can deteriorate fast and need medical attention so that also had to be taken care of. The first center is just outside ITPL, second one is closer to Sarjapur outer ring road offices… most of them are located within company campuses. On-sight centers are at TESCO, EMC, and SAP labs which is the largest child care center in India.
The one in Hyderabad is outside the campus dedicated to Microsoft, which is the only daycare center for Microsoft in the world.
The school hires qualified nurses to take care of the young ones from 1.5 months to 15 months. The ratio of nurses to babies is 1:3. Children in the age group of 4-5 go to school for LKG and come back after the classes. They have extracurricular activities such as dance, music, karate, and arts taught by people from outside. By 6 pm, they would have changed uniform, had their snacks, done their homework and completed the extracurricular activities also.
Food & Nutrition
About the food for the children, Reshma Shrinivas says that parents are allowed to send food and also the center has a central kitchen from where they supply breakfast, lunch and snacks to other centers. They employ cooks who understand the nutritional needs of children, prepare softer and right kind of food for children. In the initial two years, they had a cook in the premises, who was trained and monitored. I have personally taught him lots of items for children. Some people who have worked in a hospital in the dietary department are also employed. In the central kitchen, nutritionists check the quality of food.
When asked about the challenges in hiring teachers and nurses, Mrs. Shrinivas says that getting nurses is relatively easy as they don’t have night shift and get off on weekends. People who are married and want stability like it. But teachers have to work full time all through the year with no summer or winter break. It is difficult convincing their family and to create this kind of shift in the task process in the minds of teachers. But the present “staff bring in more people.” Lots of work with the young children is involved as everything is activity based. When they are in a group, group dynamics play a role and it is easy to handle as they grow.
Mrs. Reshma Shrinivas says that nurses are employed in all centers and medication will be given by them. In case of injuries if parents have any medicines, the center gives them. “If a child falls sick, we request the parent to come and pick the child.”
WeCare Learning Pvt Ltd has one more center in Hyderabad and 4 more in Bangalore are in the pipeline, apart from Pune and Chennai. They have separate people to manage center operations and academics. We meet these managers across the table once a month.
She concludes saying that any child moving from one center to another will not miss anything as the centers are similar and children don’t have any challenges settling there.
For more information, please visit: http://www.wecarelearning.com
WeCare Head Office
No. 1568, 3rd Floor, 1st Sector, HSR Layout Outer Ring Road Bangalore – 560 102.
Phone: (080) 6570 – 4414/ 2572 – 5480