Children’s Hostels: How to make them legal

2008-04-24 00:00

Although municipal regulations reportedly limit to 14 the number of children who may be housed, most boarding houses accommodate many more.

They are supposed to be registered with the Social Welfare Department as “places of care” (Child Care Act, 1983) once they have met the municipal requirements, which include the physical conditions like health and hygiene requirements and fire and safety measures, as well as the quality of care that children receive including nutrition and the ratio of caregivers to children.

New legislation, the Children’s Act, 2005, was passed last year, but has not yet been implemented as the regulations have not been finalised.

This act sets down basic requirements like play space, sanitation, clean drinking water etc.

The national minister of Social Development is expected to provide more detailed guidelines for registration soon.

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