BENGALURU: It was a tough call to leave my daughter at a day care centre says Vaishno, Akshadha’s mother. “While I was nervous about Akshi settling down in the day care, the teachers here made it an easy and pleasant experience. Within just two month, Akshi looks comfortably settled and she is able to learn new things,” she adds.
Vaishno is among a growing brigade of young mothers who are getting used to leaving their children at day care centres during office hours.
“As a mother, I was assured that my child is safe, secure, well-fed, well-rested, always learning and looking forward to going to Klay every single day. This is answering a working mother’s prayers,” add Jasveen and Jasjot, parents of Sehaj.
Getting young mothers back to work is Priya Krishnan’s life mission.
A highly successful entrepreneur and mother of two boys, Priya has come up with a childcare ecosystem for working mothers, which in a span of five years, is nurturing 2,000 children and has attracted a funding of `108 crore.
“Every mother, barring a few if they have a safe and credible alternative for their children, they will go back to work,” says Priya Krishnan, CEO, Founding Years Learning Solutions. She moved back to India in the second half of 2010 from UK and started up KLAY (Kids Learning and You) Schools in July 2011.
Currently, they have 44 centres across six states which are basically two models - a) in-house day care centres in the company premises and b) community preschools and day cares that are close to the mother’s workplace or home.
Priya adds, “Many women in our country are not able to take their profession further due to motherhood. With grandparents not in a position to provide solutions and unreliable nannies and maids, I wanted to create an ecosystem where parents can drop their child and go back to their work without any worries. The need is so much that mothers are prepared to invest 60-70 per cent of their income on the child’s welfare.”
The day care centres cater to children between the ages of three months to 10 years. Their 22 onsite centres are supported by companies like Unilever, Airtel, Royal Bank of Scotland, Johnson & Johnson, ITC Ltd, etc. While the off site centres in Bengaluru are very close for women, whose offices are located at Prestige Shanthiniketan, Kadugodi and Whitefield.
Bengaluru is evergreen in terms of migrant population and the people are willing to test new services unlike i n Mumbai, where things are still traditional and people are not so open minded, explains Priya. “Therefore, our primary market is Bengaluru which has the youngest population between 25-35 years. Essentially, we look at migrant population living in urban peripheral areas like Lavelle Road, UB City, Whitefield, etc,” she adds.
The response from working mothers and companies has been overwhelming and this has encouraged to open more centres in Bengaluru.
“In fact, big companies are very progressive and want participation of women at every level of their worforce,” Priya says.
At the Klay Schools centres, the charges range from `6000-18000 per month in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and NCR while in Mumbai, it is still more, `9000-25000 per month.
Their centres are modern with all child care facilities, CCTV cameras with open access for parents.