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EW India Preschool Rankings 2022-23

EducationWorld December 2022 | Cover Story EducationWorld

The objective of EWIPR 2022-23 is to enable young parents to choose suitable pre-primaries for their children, and introduce a spirit of healthy competition between preschools and stimulate their managements to improve under all parameters of pre-primary education excellence, writes Dilip Thakore & Summiya Yasmeen

SUSTAINED NEGLECT OF EARLY childhood care and education (ECCE) has been a blind-spot of post-independence India’s laid-back academics and media pundits. With the benefit of hindsight it’s blindingly clear that there is a direct cause and effect linkage between the neglect of education — and ECCE in particular — and poor productivity of India’s white and blue collar employees and farm sector workers.

Turn of century research in neurological sciences and cognitive development has clearly established that children’s brains are 80 percent developed by the time they attain age eight. This awareness prompted economics Nobel laureate (2000) James J. Heckman to comment that a dollar invested in a child’s professionally administered ECCE is $16 saved in her higher education and career progression because beneficiaries of quality ECCE are able to learn faster and better.

 

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Open, uninterrupted and continuous neglect of professionally administered ECCE under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme has cost the Indian economy heavily. Although a minority, your correspondents believe there’s a direct cause-effect linkage between India’s #132 rank on UNDP’s Human Development Index 2021, #107 rank on the Global Hunger Index 2022, over half of class VII children unable to read class III textbooks as reported year after year by the ASER surveys of the Pratham Education Foundation, and sustained neglect of ECCE.

Unlike other media publications which stop at highlighting official negligence and injustice, in 2010, EducationWorld convened the first international ECCE conference in Mumbai at which ECCE experts from around the world alerted educationists, parents, educators and society about the critical importance of universalising ECCE. Simultaneously in 2010 we introduced the pioneer EducationWorld India Preschool Rankings (EWIPR) in which we ranked the Top 10 pre-primaries in India’s larger cities where there was greater awareness of the importance and value of professionally administered ECCE. Since then, EWIPR has been published every year with the number of cities covered having risen to 17.

Persistent advocacy of ECCE by EducationWorld has — even if belatedly — woken up academia and the community to the vital importance of universalisation of early childhood education. The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 presented to the country last July accords high importance to professionally dispensed ECCE and has integrated it with primary/elementary education under its 5+3+3+4 primary-secondary education system replacing the previous 10+2 model and making ECCE compulsory for all children from age three to eight.

To maintain our record of conducting EWIPR annually since 2010, in July we commissioned the Centre for Forecasting & Research Pvt. Ltd (C fore) to interview young parents, pre-primary principals and teachers across the country to rate and rank the most admired preschools in 17 cities where there’s sufficient and/or rising public awareness of the critical importance of professionally-administered ECCE. Accordingly, field researchers of C fore interviewed 7,543 sample respondents in 17 cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Gurugram, Chandigarh, Jaipur and Pune among others — to rate the most respected preschools in their cities on ten carefully selected parameters of pre-primary schooling excellence.

“The sample respondents database in each city comprised SEC (socio-economic category) ‘A’ parents with at least one child in preschool, principals and teachers. Every respondent was shown a list of well-known preschools in her city, and was asked to rate them under ten parameters of ECCE excellence. The parameters of assessment are: competence of teachers, teacher welfare and development, curriculum and pedagogy, infrastructure, individual attention to children, leadership, safety and hygiene, among others. The sample respondents were persuaded to award scores of 1-100 under all parameters except competence of faculty which is given double weightage. The scores awarded under each parameter were totalled and preschools ranked accordingly. Preschools evaluated by less than 20 respondents are not ranked,” says Premchand Palety, promoter-CEO of C fore (estb. 2000), the high-profile market research and public opinion polls company which over the past 22 years has established an excellent national reputation.

In the pages following, we present league tables of most respected/admired preschools in 17 cities across India. The objective of EWIPR 2022-23 is to enable young parents to choose suitable pre-primaries for their children, and introduce a spirit of healthy competition between preschools and stimulate their managements to improve under all parameters of pre-primary education excellence.

As recounted above, in EducationWorld we accord highest importance to professionally administered ECCE. Therefore shortly after publication of EWIPR 2022-23 league tables, top-ranked preschools will be invited and felicitated at the EWIPR 2022-23 Awards conclave in Delhi during which seminars and workshops will also be conducted. Continuous improvement and universalisation of foundational education is our mission.

With Paromita Sengupta, Reshma Ravishanker & Baishali Mukherjee

I’m very pleased to learn that Step by Step Nursery has been ranked Delhi’s #1 preschool in your national preschools survey, and that we have been awarded highest scores under six of the ten EducationWorld parameters of preschool excellence. Especially teacher competence, infrastructure and safety and hygiene, all of which are critical for provid­ing child-centric early childhood education. But we are not a competitive school which accords high importance to external evaluation. Neither do we encourage compe­tition between our children. Our mission is to nurture happy learners in a stimulating non-competitive envi­ronment — Shweta Nanda, a science and education alumna of Delhi University and principal, Step by Step Nursery School, Panchsheel Park, Delhi.

Number of children: top secret. No. of teachers: confidential.

 

Delhi’s franchised preschools league table

 

 

We are thrilled that we’re ranked Delhi’s #1 fran­chised preschool. I thank our highly motivated teachers and supportive parents for the faith and trust they have reposed in us especially during the pro­longed pandemic closure. Thanks are also due to our franchisor Kidzee which has provided a child-friendly and play-based curriculum. I am especially pleased with our top scores under the parameters of safety and hygiene and individual attention to students because we focus on developing children’s socialisation and self-grooming skills. Our attention to these parameters is behind our premier rank this year” — Priyanka Wadhwa, founder, Kidzee Little Tinkles, Saket, Delhi (100 students and 12 teachers)

Parameters of Excellence: Delhi’s Top 10 Preschools

To compile the ew india preschool rankings 2022-23 league tables of early childhood care and education (ECCE) institutions, 1,000 preschools were shortlist­ed by EducationWorld, of whom 545 were sufficiently well-known to be assessed by the respondents base comprising 6,598 SEC (socio-economic category) ‘A’ parents with at least one child in preschool, and 945 principals/teachers, across 10 parameters of ECCE excellence.

Sample respondents in 17 cities were asked to rate pre­schools in their civic limits on 10 parameters — compe­tence of teachers, individual attention to students, value for money, leadership quality, parental involvement, cur­riculum and pedagogy, infrastructure, safety and hygiene, and teacher welfare and development.

The scores awarded under each of these 10 parameters were aggregated to rank the most preferred preschools un­der two categories — proprietary and franchised — in 17 cities. The rankings of Delhi’s Top 10 preschools (across proprietary and franchise preschools) under each param­eter of ECCE excellence are set out in the link below.

EducationWorld India Preschool Rankings

We are delighted we’ve been voted Mumbai’s #1 pro­prietary preschool. Over the past three years we have worked very hard to improve under all EW survey parameters. Therefore we are thrilled with our higher scores under all ten parameters of early childhood educa­tion. Witty World is Mumbai’s largest preschool with 817 children learning with us from play group to senior kin­dergarten. We take pride in continuously improving our pedagogies and designing age-appropriate curriculums mapped with the National Curriculum Framework. This award will motivate us to keep improving and innovating to ensure that our children receive globally benchmarked early years learning

Dr. Raina Jain, director, VJTF Eduservices Ltd, which owns Witty World, Borivali (W), Mumbai (817 children and 57 teachers)

 

We are overwhelmed that we’ve been repeatedly ranked Mumbai’s premier franchised preschool for the past six years. This is validation of our core values and tribute to the untiring efforts of our highly-dedicated teachers. We are thrilled with our top scores on eight of the survey’s ten parameters of preschool education excellence, especially teacher competence, curriculum and pedagogy, and infrastructure. The trust and goodwill that we have built within our parents’ community over 20 years is the outcome of the passion and time we have invested in integrating contemporary early learning peda­gogies into our curriculum. Our top rank for six years is confirmation that we are providing children a joyful lean­ing environment which develops their creativity, compas­sion and confidence

Reshma Kukreja, promoter, Kangaroo Kids, Chembur, Mumbai

 

Our Spring Buds family is enthused with this overdue recognition of being ranked Thane’s #1 proprietary preschool. Our high scores on most parameters of preschool education — of which parent involvement and strong leadership management we value most — have motivated our committed teachers to raise the bar of preschool education by creating an environment which stimulates the imagination of young minds and nurtures global citizens. We encourage our young learners to be­come thinkers, innovators, and problem solvers, through enabling experiences. Inspired by rising public demand for quality preschool education, we intend to expand our footprint nationwide in the near future”

Jayashree Kumar, principal, Spring Buds International Pre­school, Kapurbawdi Junction, Thane (West) (450 students and 55 teachers).

We are delighted with the good news! This recognition as Thane’s #1 franchised preschool makes us feel proud of our consistent contribu­tion in nurturing well-rounded children over the past six years. Through our exploration and engagement-based learning approach, our highly qualified teach­ers empower young learners to share, collaborate and develop their competencies in an enriching environ­ment. We are especially pleased to be awarded the highest score on the parameter of individual atten­tion to students as each child is unique with differ­ent learning abilities and potential. Looking ahead, we want to work towards more innovative ways to nurture children’s potential

Preeti Parashar, principal, EuroKids Palava City, Thane (135 students and 9 teachers)

I want to thank my committed team of teachers and staff whose hard work and dedication has helped us to evolve into Navi Mumbai’s #1 preschool. Of all the pa­rameters under which we have been awarded highest score, I value our #1 ranking under curriculum and teaching-learn­ing pedagogies because it is innovation and out-of-the-box thinking that 21st century young learners require for a suc­cessful future. Our goal is to nurture creative mindsets and provide life skills development programmes to our young learners to help them overcome life’s challenges”

Shikha Jain, founder-principal, Perfection International Kids Preschool, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai (115 children and nine teachers)

We are over the moon to learn that we’ve been ranked Kolkata’s #1 proprietary preschool for the second con­secutive year. Thanks to EducationWorld for making the effort every year to acknowledge and motivate early childhood educators across the country. Although Bubble Blue has been awarded top scores on several parameters, I am especially delighted with our #1 rank for competence of teachers, because our teachers are continuously trained in latest ECCE pedagogies and soft-skills development. I’m also delighted by our high score for curriculum and peda­gogy development because building on the philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori we have integrated STEM, gross motor movement, creativity and nature activities into our curriculum. Our objective is to provide an enabling envi­ronment in which children learn to become independent in mind and body.

Nabanita Bose Mukherjee (left), founder-principal, Bubble Blue, New Town (estb.2010, 100 children and ten teachers)

EuroKids, CK Block is ranked Kolkata’s #1 fran­chised preschool for the third year consecutively. I credit our excellent reputation to our highly compe­tent teachers and the goodwill and support of our par­ents. During the pandemic, our teachers were pioneers in providing online classes for preschoolers. We value our teachers highly and conduct regular training sessions for them to devise innovative curriculums and pedagogies to ensure the holistic development of children. Therefore I am not surprised by our highest scores for teacher com­petence, teacher welfare and development and parental involvement

Sanchari Mukherji, centre head, Eu­roKids, CK Block, Salt Lake, Kolkata (46 children and eight staff)

We are very happy that your sample respondents have re-voted Vruksha Montessori Chennai’s #1 proprietary preschool after a gap of two years. I dedicate this award to our teachers for their innovative curriculum design and thinking during the long pandemic closure of schools, without wavering from Montessori pedagogy. Our focus is on providing a balance between the ten EW survey parameters of preschool excellence. Currently, we are working with groups of parents and individual children to re-build their social interaction, motor coordination and emotional quotient skills

Jayashree Radhakrishnan (centre), founder-principal, Vruksha Montessori, Alwarpet, Chennai (150 children; 17 teachers)

The credit for our #1 ranking should accrue to our teachers whose sincere efforts through the pandemic have paid rich dividends. Although we are delighted with our top scores on seven of EW’s parameters of excellence, we will strive hard to improve on the remaining three. Towards this end, we have already incorporated the latest teaching-learning methodologies benchmarking ourselves with best global standards. The innovative playway pedagogies and strong commitment to delivering quality early years education of our franchisor — Podar Jumbo Kids, Mumbai — has shaped PKJ into the national leader in pre-primary education

Nandini Parvatham, centre head, Podar Jumbo Kids, Thoraipakkam, Chennai (26 students and five teachers)

We are grateful to your knowledgeable sample respondents for restoring Indus Early Learning Centre (IELC), Whitefield to its rightful position as Bangalore’s #1 proprietary preschool after two years of being ranked second. It’s also very gratifying that we have been ranked #1 under seven of the ten parameters of ECCE excellence, especially teacher competence and teacher welfare and development, individual attention to students, curriculum and pedagogy and safety and hygiene which are top priority for us. I am particularly pleased that we have been awarded the highest score for individual attention to students as the distinguishing feature of IELC is the personalised learning and socio-emotional well-being support teachers provide children to develop their inherent talents and skills

Priyanka Khurana, centre head, Indus Early Learning Centre, Whitefield

Thanks for your commendable effort to conduct the EW India Preschool Rankings every year and providing early childhood educators continuous encouragement and motivation to give our best. At SEED International, OMBR Layout we experienced joy, delight and gratitude on learning that we’ve regained our #1 ranking after a gap two years. Credit for this achievement should accrue to our teachers, parents and children. They are pillars of this institution, ever willing to raise the bar to ensure this school provides high-quality holistic education. It’s especially gratifying that we have been awarded the highest score under the parameter of individual attention to students as this is the prerequisite of implementing innovative pedagogies and maintaining safety and hygiene”

R.K. Deepalakshmi, founder-principal, SEED International, OMBR Layout, Bangalore (80 children and six teachers)

It is a huge achievement for us to regain our top rank­ing as Hyderabad’s #1 proprietary preschool. After we lost our top rank in 2019-20 we made a determined effort to improve under all EW parameters. This institu­tional effort was led by our teachers to deliver the curricu­lum through innovative pedagogies with the whole-hearted co-operation of parents. Therefore it’s very gratifying that we’ve been awarded highest scores under the teachers competence and parental involvement parameters. It’s a matter of pride for us that many CHIREC alumni return as CHIREC parents — a telling yardstick to measure the reliability and validity of the early childhood education we provide”

Iffat Ibrahim, principal, CHIREC, Jubilee Hills (243 students and 30 teachers)

It’s great news that Birla Open Minds Preschool, Ju­bilee Hills is ranked Hyderabad’s #1 franchised pre­school. This year’s promotion is the result of all of us working round the clock during the pandemic lockdown to ensure continuous delivery of high quality early childhood education to our children. The exemplary dedication and commitment of our well-qualified teachers is reflected in our top score for teacher competence. It’s also very satisfy­ing that survey respondents have ranked us #1 on the pa­rameter of curriculum and pedagogy as we have made great efforts to enrich the curriculum provided by our franchisor. We have added modules on life skills, theatre and a read­ing programme. I’m also delighted with our top score for personalised attention to every child. This is very important for early years learning”

Pratima Sinha (left), CEO, DSR Educational Society which owns Birla Open Minds Preschool, Jubilee Hills (110 students and 20 teachers)

We are delighted that your survey respondents have recognised the hard work put into early childhood edu­cation by the entire Elpro First Steps team. Credit for this achievement should accrue to our teachers who have gone beyond the call of duty to provide every child individ­ual care, attention and support to realise her full potential. That’s why of all the parameters, I am thrilled with our #1 rank for competence of teachers. They are truly committed to providing every child a solid foundational education and a safe learning environment in which all children learn joy­ously.

Aarti Kanwal, principal, Elpro First Steps, Chinchwad, Pune

We are thankful that we have been awarded our right­ful position as Pune’s #1 franchised pre-primary. I ded­icate this award to our supportive management, quali­fied and hard-working teachers, staff, parents and cheerful, eager-to-learn children. It’s because of their collective effort that Little Millennium has bagged top scores on all the criti­cal parameters of early childhood education excellence — teacher competence, parental involvement and safety and hygiene. Parental involvement is a priority for us and we encourage continuous communication and feedback from them. Safety and hygiene is also a very important focus area for us with strict protocols followed by all staff. The other initiative that we pride ourselves for is going beyond the curriculum and sensitising children to environment issues such as garbage segregation, trees planting, ‘good touch bad touch’ awareness sessions, among others”

Nargis Ali, chief learning officer, Little Millennium, Viman Nagar

Educational Trends 2022

I’m delighted that we are ranked Ahmedabad’s #1 proprietary preschool. It’s a great honour bestowed upon us by your informed respondents who have acknowledged our collective team effort and vigilant leadership. Our steady rise in the EW league tables is the result of sustained investment in teacher training and professional development programmes. In fact, ours is India’s only Teachers Training Centre recognised by Cambridge University Press, UK. We are elated with our top scores under seven parameters of preschool education, especially special needs education as we strongly believe in inclusiveness and pay particular attention to children with special needs”

Rutvi Vyas (right), principal, Vedant International Preschool, Maninagar, Ahmedabad (650 students and 40 teachers)

Our entire team is elated by EuroKids, Satellite’s #1 rank in EWIPR 2022-23. I believe the secret of our success is the excellent infrastructure and joyful learning environment we provide our children. Credit is also due to our committed and creative teachers — some with us for more than two decades — who have made EuroKids, Satellite their second home and give individual attention to students. The wholesome early learning environment we provide is evidenced by our top scores for parental involvement and safety and hygiene. Yet above all I value my teachers’ satisfaction with the new age mindful curriculum provided by our franchisors which integrates yoga, music and fitness programmes, phonics, maths and science”

Beula Canara, founder-principal, EuroKids, Satellite, Ahmedabad (165 students and 14 teachers)

We accept this wonderful news with happiness and gratitude. In Amiown our mission statement is to nurture children to become their best selves. When the care and effort invested by us to achieve this goal is recognised by parent and professional communities, it’s a bonus. I attribute Amiown, Gurugram’s high scores on the survey’s ten parameters of preschool education excellence to our highly qualified, competent and compassionate team whose values and actions are aligned to providing a nurtur­ing, caring, loving environment to enable optimal growth of our children. Our motto ‘We nurture happy and lifelong learners’ applies to children and adults. This helps us to continuously review and reevaluate our curriculum and practices. All EW parameters are important and relevant and we value each one”

Sapna Chauhan, chairperson of Amiown Preschools (Amiown, Gurugram: 226 students and 24 teachers)

We are grateful to your knowledgeable respondents who have voted Shri Ram Wonder Years Gurugram’s #1 franchised preschool for the fourth year since 2017- 18. I’m delighted with our top scores under all ten param­eters of preschool excellence. It proves we are firmly on the right track. This top rank award will motivate our teachers to continue delivering their best. Our goal is to provide our young learners a stimulating learning environment and focus on their holistic development. Recently our teach­ers team has designed Pratham, a parent-accompanied skills-based programme for children in the 1-1.6 years age group which we plan to introduce after the winter break”

Deepali Karnwal, CEO, Shri Ram Wonder Years, Gurugram (90 students and 10 teachers)

This is great news as the preschool has reopened only this year after being shut down for almost two years during the Covid-19 pandemic, as I am not a believer in online education for youngest children. The comeback has been tough and we are inspired by the #1 rank award­ed to us by your knowledgeable respondents. In Gaia, we have designed a curriculum and pedagogies, immersed in nature. Our objective is that pre-primary children learn joyfully through nature exploration on our green campus. That’s why I am particularly happy that Gaia is ranked #1 in Noida for curriculum and pedagogy and competence of teachers

Aditi J. Anil, founder-director, Gaia Play­School, Noida (100 students and 10 teachers)

We are thrilled about our #1 ranking. It’s validation that we are on the right path. It’s always been our ob­jective to provide high-quality early childhood care and education to stimulate the inherent curiosity, creativ­ity, critical thinking and communication skills of children from youngest age. Our franchisor has developed an ex­cellent neuroscience-based curriculum which is imple­mented by our skilled faculty in a conducive environment. Therefore I’m very satisfied with our top scores under the parameters of curriculum and pedagogy, infrastruc­ture and teacher competence. Now we are excited about implementing the National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage

Sharmila Chatterjee (right), principal, Kangaroo Kids & Billabong High Inter­national School, Noida (210 children and 19 teachers)

We are delighted that we’ve been voted Bhubaneswar’s #1 preschool for the fourth consecutive year. The award is vindication of the vision of our founder-chairman the late Dr. Bijaya Kumar Sahoo who conceptualised SAI Angan as a learning and happiness institution for youngest children. Our top scores on nine of the ten parameters of early childhood excellence is evidence of our advancement on all fronts to create a safe and enabling learning environment for children to learn joyfully and experientially. But the major defining feature of SAI Angan is the commitment of our teachers and staff to ensuring children’s happiness quotient, and not merely to develop their intelligence

Dr. Silpi Sahoo, chairperson, SAI International Group and SAI Angan (531 students and 63 teachers)

Quite frankly we don’t take much interest in ratings and rankings. But it’s always good to know that we are respected by peer and parents’ communities. For our team what matters most is to keep raising the bar to provide a globally benchmarked caring, empathetic, and enabling learning environment for youngest children. That’s why we accord utmost importance to the quality of faculty, because a school is only as good as its teachers. Therefore I am very pleased about the top scores on the parameters of teacher welfare and development and teacher competence. We will continue to strengthen our relationship with parents, caregivers and other stakeholders to provide our children highest quality early childhood education

Atul Khanna, director, Strawberry Fields Play School, Sector 24B, Chandigarh (320 students and 18 teachers)

We are delighted about our promotion from #6 in 2019 to #1 this year. It has made us aware that we have to continuously improve under all parameters of early childhood education excellence. Therefore we are committed to constant innovation and improvement including the use of learning circles, outdoor play activities, and personalised learning to develop children’s multiple intelligences. We are also fully committed to the professional development of our 32 teachers. Hence, I’m delighted with our #1 rank for teacher competence and development, as also with our top score for safety and hygiene as children need to feel safe, secure, and cared for to develop love of learning. In early 2023, we are all set to inaugurate a new Healthy Planet Pre-primary in Wishtown, Noida in partnership with The Glasgow Academy, Scotland, UK

Arunabh Singh, director, Healthy Planet, Shastri Nagar, Ghaziabad (263 children and 32 teachers)

It is a great honour and privilege to be ranked Bhopal’s #1 preschool by EducationWorld. Credit for this accolade should accrue not only to the management and staff of DPS Kidszone, but to all our students and parents as well, whose constant support and cooperation has inspired us to give our best. I’m delighted with our top scores under several parameters, especially curriculum and pedagogy and teacher competence which is proof that we are providing a strong foundation for Indian youth. Planning consciously for the future is the best strategy for remaining grounded in the present. Therefore, our core team is ideating newer initiatives for post-Covid children. Times have changed and early childhood education needs to evolve

Mukta Sharma, vice principal, DPS Kidszone, (DPS Bhopal), Neelbad, Bhopal (232 students and 29 teachers)

It’s always a great honour to be ranked Jaipur’s #1 preschool by EducationWorld, C fore and your sample respondents. Thanks for reposing faith in us to shape the future of little ones. I’m very pleased that your sample respondents have acknowledged teaching-learning pedagogies at Bal Vatika which are focussed on experiential learning to build a strong foundation for our children. Moreover, we believe individual attention to students is of paramount importance in preschool education just as value for money is important for parents’ satisfaction. Therefore, I’m very satisfied with our scores under these parameters. Looking ahead, we have plans to move to a new child and eco-friendly campus housing state-of-the-art classrooms and a children’s library to provide enriching learning experiences to our young learners” 

Manisha Jain, coordinator, Bal Vatika Pre-Primary School, Sawai Ram Singh Road, Jaipur (183 students and 18 teachers).

Model anganwadis in 3 metros

To compile the 2022-23 league table of model anganwadis, C fore field researchers interviewed 446 sample respondents including anganwadi teachers and SEC (socio-economic category) ‘C’, ‘D’ and ‘E’ parents in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore

In 2018, in the cause of support­ing the Central government’s ICDS (Integrated Child Develop­ment Services) programme (estb. 1975), EducationWorld introduced the first-ever ranking of government anganwadis — essentially nutrition centres for lactating mothers and chil­dren in the age group 0-5 years from poorest households which are also mandated to provide early childhood education — in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore to serve as models for the country’s 1.4 million anganwadis. The inaugural as well as 2019-20 rankings of Top 3 anganwadis in these three metros received encouraging feedback from our readers.

However in 2020 because of the pandemic lockdown of all education institutions including anganwadis, the rankings were discontinued for two years — 2020-21 and 2021-22. Now with the resumption of in-per­son learning across the education spectrum, the anganwadi rankings are back. To compile the 2022-23 league tables of best anganwadis, field researchers of the Delhi-based market research company Centre for Forecasting and Research (C fore) in­terviewed 446 sample respondents in­cluding anganwadi teachers and SEC (socio-economic category) ‘C’, ‘D’ and ‘E’ parents in Delhi, Mumbai and Ban­galore.

“The sample respondents were asked to rate anganwadis that they were aware of on a ten point scale un­der six parameters. The parameters of assessment were competence of teach­ers, infrastructure, individual atten­tion to students, nutrition/child care, safety and hygiene, and leadership quality. Preschools assessed by less than 25 persons were eliminated from the rankings exercise. All the param­eters are given equal weightage except competence of faculty which is given double weightage,” says Premchand Palety, chief executive of C fore ex­plaining the rankings methodology and parameters specially devised for government anganwadis.

In the Union Budget 2022-23, the Central government allocated Rs.20,263 crore for the ICDS pro­gramme — a mere Rs.1,235 per child per year — a sum clearly inadequate to provide nutrition, leave alone profes­sionally administered ECCE.

Ab initio, EducationWorld has been demanding and has also repeatedly published detailed schema for provid­ing an additional Rs.110,000 crore for the ICDS programme. In the pages fol­lowing, we present league tables rank­ing the top anganwadis in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore with the twin ob­jectives of acknowledging/highlight­ing the good work being done by these role model anganwadis, and building the pressure of public opinion to force the government to raise the budgetary allocation for the ICDS programme.

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