Integrated Child Development Services [ICDS]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Jun 6, 2022, 8:39

Integrated Child Development Services [ICDS] is a government welfare program that the Indian government manages to provide food, preschool education, and primary healthcare facilities to children under six years of age and their mothers.

According to the Women and Child Development (WCD) ministry, over 33 lakh children in India are malnourished. They need proper nourishment and care to live healthy lives at this delicate age.

The program, renamed Anganwadi Services, is the world's largest initiative for providing an integrated package of integral services to the child's development. The central government implements the scheme in all states and union territories of India.

In this article, we will go through what the Integrated Child Development Services [ICDS] scheme does and the services that it implements.

Integrated Child Development Services [ICDS] - Overview

The Integrated Child Development Services scheme was launched on 2nd October 1975 and is a flagship programme of the Government of India.

As part of this scheme, the central government works with local Anganwadi centres to provide food, preschool education for children between 3-6 years, primary healthcare facilities, immunisation, health check-up, and referral services to children under the age of 6 and their mothers.

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Services under the Integrated Child Development Services Program

The Integrated Child Development Services [ICDS] provides for anganwadis or day-care centres, which deliver a package of six services, including:

  • Supplementary Nutrition (for children under the age of 6 and expecting or lactating mothers)
  • Nutrition & health education (for women between the age of 15-45 years)
  • Immunisation program (for children under the age of 6)
  • Health check-ups (for children and pregnant/lactating women)
  • Referral services (for children under the age of 6 and their mothers)
  • Pre-school non-formal education (for children between the age of 3-6 years)

These services are provided by the Anganwadi workers & Anganwadi helpers at Anganwadi Centers and Mini-Anganwadi Centers, Ministry of Women & Child Development (MWCD), Mahila Arogya Samiti Urban Immunization (MASUM).

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Integrated Child Development Services [ICDS] Objectives

The objectives of the Integrated Child Development Services [ICDS] Scheme are:

  • to enhance and provide support to expecting and recent mothers to look after their children and create awareness about good health and nutrition for the mother and the child
  • improving the health & wellness status of children between the age of 0-6 years
  • focusing on avenues that will enable proper development of psychological, physical, and social aspects of the child
  • promoting health initiatives to help reduce the instances of infant mortality, morbidity, and malnutrition among children and their mothers and reducing the school dropout rate

Integrated Child Development Services represents one of the world's largest and most unique programmes that has been undertaken for early childhood care and development.

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FAQs on Integrated Child Development Services [ICDS]

Q1. What is Integrated Child Development Services [ICDS]?

Integrated Child Development Services [ICDS] is a government welfare programme that the Indian government manages to provide food, preschool education, and primary healthcare facilities to children under six years of age and their mothers.

Q2. When was Integrated Child Development Services [ICDS] launched?

The Integrated Child Development Services [ICDS] was launched in 1975 to address issues related to early childhood development like malnutrition, health and needs of young children, and care and guidance for their mother.

Q3. Is Integrated Child Development Services [ICDS] the same as Anganwadi?

The Integrated Child Development Services [ICDS] scheme was recently renamed as Anganwadi scheme and manages several Anganwadi centres and mini Anganwadi centres in In dia.

Q4. What are the activities of Integrated Child Development Services [ICDS]?

The Integrated Child Development Services [ICDS] Scheme offers a package of six services to children under the age of 6 years and their mothers. These include:

  • Supplementary Nutrition
  • Pre-school non-formal education
  • Nutrition & health education
  • Immunisation
  • Health check-up
  • Referral services