Catco Kids runs daycare facilities in Pakistan that cater to women and children from all levels of income and works to promote the development of quality childcare in Pakistan and the establishment of a National Childcare System in the country. It is a major provider and pioneer of quality daycare programs in Pakistan. Established in Karachi in 2003 as a social enterprise, the organization has expanded to have four corporate centers and one community center in the Karachi area, as well as five corporate centers in Punjab.
The company runs a mix of corporate day care centers and large community-based centers. Corporate day care takes care of the children of company employees and is typically subsidized by the business, giving female employees with children the ability to work without being preoccupied by childcare. These facilities are for-profit and are used to cross-subsidize the larger community-based centers, which operate in poorer rural areas. Staff at all facilities undergo monthly training sessions and take competency exams every 6 months.
One major community-based center is in Chashma Goth in the rural outskirts of Karachi. The center was started in 2006 to serve a small fishing community. The facility employs local staff and runs a family resource center that caters to community-specific needs. The center is free of cost and cares for 80 children ranging in grade level from preschool to primary school.
The long-term goal of Catco Kids is to establish a national childcare system in the country. It has also worked with multiple donor programs and provides both research and technical program implementation support, including TVET curricula design.
Key focus areas of the Pakistan program include:
- Establishment of National Childcare Standards and Systems
- Development of a Quality Certification system for Child Care Centers
- Development of standardized Training and Certification programs for Childcare workers
- Establishment & Management of Model Quality Childcare Centers
- Establishment of a Franchise network of quality child care centers as economic empowerment opportunities for women
- Research & Technical Consultancy
- Daycare Certifications Program
- Research & Development
Catco Kids has conducted field research and technical consultancy in the field of early childhood care to help create a knowledge base for the establishment of a National Childcare System. To achieve this, they have worked with organizations like International Labor Organization (ILO) and compiled a core group database. They are also working with The Aga Khan School of Nursing and Midwifery on conducting qualitative and quantitative studies on child development issues like bullying. Additionally, they have helped with curriculum development through teacher training programs at Karachi High School, The Aga Khan National Council, Sindh Ministry of Women’s Development, Idara-e-Taalim-o-Agaahi (ITA), and TVET Child Care. They provide certifications and training for daycare managers in fields like Developmentally Appropriate Practices, Basic Life Support, and National Childcare Administration. With regards to other consultancies, Catco Kids has also conducted a needs analysis survey for the Aga Khan Daycare centers in Garden, Karimabad, and Kharadar. The organization also participates in writing for relevant publications and presenting papers in local and international conferences.
Catco Kids has established a quality certification system for other day cares to compensate for the absence of government standards.
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Model details2003For-profitActiveLong-term projectCross-subsidizationFlat rate based on number of children
Catco Kids runs large community-based centers in poorer regions of Pakistan that hire local staff and provide day care at a low cost.
Scale10Operates 4 corporate centers and 1 community center in Karachi along with 5 corporate centers in PunjabMarch, 2015
The program in Pakistan has expanded from one day care center in Karachi to 5 in Karachi and 5 in Punjab.
Catco Kids aims to help create a National Childcare System in Pakistan by establishing national standards for childcare, developing a certification system for child care centers and workers, developing standardized training for workers, establishing model childcare centers, and creating a franchise of childcare centers to help women become economically empowered.