Mobile Creches

Focus: Children and Youth, Education, Health, Women

AN observation about the plight of children of labourers building the Gandhi centenary celebration pavilion triggered the idea of providing safe spaces for these neglected minors while their parents work.

A pioneer in the advocacy for children’s rights and early childhood care and development, Mobile Creches’ (MC) story began when founder Meera Mahadevan soothed a crying infant amidst the rubble of this construction site in Delhi in 1969.

By the mid-1980s, construction site creches were set up across Delhi and NCR and MC also provided education for older children, adult literacy, health and hygiene programming. However, at the heart of it all still lay the mission “to promote ‘child-friendly construction sites’ where every child living on a worksite is safe, healthy, educated and able to enjoy childhood”.

With 60million children under the age of six born to daily wage earners, construction workers, migrants or other marginalised populations living in poverty with no access to quality health care, child care or education, there is more need than ever to support these populaces.

MC continue to provide safe havens at construction sites and urban slums, skills building for community child-care workers, and ongoing advocacy efforts for early childhood development.

Life-changing as these activities are, they more importantly allow kids to be kids. Nabya, a three-year-old MC attendee, says: “I love coming to the centre because I can play here. I like listening to the stories our didi tells us. I would rather not stay at home.”

Another little boy, all grown up now, came to the city with his father to find work. To keep his son from the rough streets, his father enrolled him at one of MC’s centres. Shyamveer was slow to adapt, but with the guidance of creche didis he found his path.

Excelling in his studies, he received annual scholarships and eventually was able to graduate from college. Shyamveer is now a government school teacher and hasn’t forgotten the generosity shown to him as a child. He never fails to lend a helping hand to those in need and is always a voice of encouragement to his students.

MC reach 20,000 children annually, having touched the lives of nearly 870,000 children since 1969. However, their work doesn’t end there; they have also trained thousands of creche workers and impacted policies at the highest level – for which they need help, either in funds to support childcare services or volunteers to enrich programming.

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Childcare Services

MC provide childcare services six days a week, eight hours a day, at construction sites and urban slums. Besides providing a safe haven for minors, MC also focus on nutrition, health, hygiene, education, and community awareness. This includes health check-ups, immunisations, vitamin and mineral supplementation, meals designed to combat malnourishment, personal and environmental hygiene, and early stimulation and learning. ₹2,083 will support one migrant child for a month.


MC believe that childcare workers and other caregivers are central to ensuring quality care, which is dependent on their skills, knowledge, attitude, and motivation. Thus, MC work to ensure that mothers, families, childcare workers, government functionaries, NGO personnel, funding agencies, and policymakers are oriented and provided basic skills-building opportunities so children receive timely quality care for their development. ₹4,000 will remunerate one childcare worker for a week.


THROUGH community-based advocacy and engaging with state actors, MC and their network partners work to influence policies to ensure foundational rights for all children under six. They collaborate with sectors such as nutrition, education, maternity entitlements, social protection, labour rights, child protection and others to advocate for a young child's right to early childhood care and development. ₹1,600 will cover the costs of one creche campaign activity in a community for a month.

About Mobile Creches

Earlier, I had no idea about creches. This training is going to help me a lot in my work … and has helped me to develop a different perspective towards child care.

Pushpa Johri, Supervisor, Department of Women and Child Development, Delhi

MC’s focus on the young child at construction sites reminds us to remain invested in developing the future citizens of our nation. We look forward to expanding our partnership at many locations so more of our customers become a part of this journey.

Sanjaya Gupta, Managing Director, Punjab National Bank Housing Finance Limited

I used to come to the centre to drop my child or pick him up, that’s all. After many interactions with the staff and participation in information sessions, I've understood the importance of a child's early years. Now, I build awareness in the community.

Lakshmi, community leader, Seemapuri

  • Devika Singh Co-Founder
  • Sumitra Mishra Executive Director
  • Seema Sahai Chief Operating Officer
  • Neeru Bhatnagar Senior Manager, Training & Capacity Building
  • Sonia Sharma Senior Manager, Programmes
  • Chirashree Ghosh Senior Manager, Advocacy - State Level