Children are the future and valuable human resource of a country. Every welfare state formulate policy and design programmes to ensure each and every child to be born safe, lead a healthy life, stay protected and be developed socially as well as mentally. Government of India is implementing various schemes and programmes for the benefit of the children. The national policy for children formulated by Government of India in 1974 described children as a “supremely important assets”. This policy lay down that State should provide adequate services for children both before and after birth, and during the growing stages for their full physical, mental and social development. The measures suggested include amongst others a comprehensive health programme, supplementary nutrition for mothers and children, promotion of physical education and recreational activities, special consideration for children of weaker sections and prevention of exploitation of children. Again such programmes are implemented to ensure the service, reach the grass-root stakeholder.
Early Childhood Years is a special time and place in human life cycle. It is the foundation of human life to achieve optimal physical growth and psychological development. Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) are
important for survival, growth and development of child. The term growth and development shall have qualitative dimension. It is not intended only to physical growth or health but also mental, emotional, cognitive and social
development. The first eight years of childhood are critically important and the physical growth in positive environment leads to proper mental progress and this is invariably related for the better performance in early
education. This implies and it has been well recognised that Early Childhood Care and Development and Early Childhood Care and Education are the two sides of the same coin.

In Orissa, the population of pre-school children (0-6 Yrs.), as recorded in Census-2001, was 5.35 Million, which constituted 14.5 per cent of the total population. Recognising the report of child tracking survey undertaken by
Orissa Primary Education Programme Authority (OPEPA) that presently there are 4.13 Million children in Orissa in the 0-5 years aged group, of which 2.13 million are boys and 2.0 million are girls

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ACCESS TO CHiILD Development SERVICES