Empowering early childhood

‘Kaleidoscope of Life’, a daycare and activity centre initiated in 2016 in Panaji has been filling a gap in the childcare system.


In today’s world of gadgets, ‘Kaleidoscope of Life’ tries to build a no-gadget zone for kids and help them to achieve three forms of intelligence like the Intelligence Quotient – IQ, the Emotional Quotient – EQ and the Social Quotient – SQ.

The initiative was started in 2016 by Nayantara Ray, a Bengali who made Goa her home in 2009 after her husband had to move for work. Having lived in Delhi for a long time, she says that daycare or childcare facilities were easily found and were also commonly chosen by young working couples.

However, when she moved to Goa in 2016 and wanted to start working, she noticed a lack of such facilities. “This highlighted a gap in childcare options for working women in Goa. Despite being independent and working, Goan women often relied on traditional methods of childcare, such as leaving their kids with grandparents or relatives. To address this gap and provide a formal daycare facility, I decided to open ‘Kaleidoscope of Life’, she adds.

The name reflects their goal of offering a diverse and enjoyable mix of activities for children under one roof. Unlike many other daycare centres that primarily focus on waiting for parents or completing homework, at their centre she adds that children are engaged in a range of activities beyond just their studies or tuitions.

Kaleidoscope offers a variety of activities with the best courses and instructors. “From robotics, coding, taekwondo, chess, Indian and Western dance, gymnastics, mental and Vedic maths, karate, and more, we take pride in our collaborations with these instructors. Our instructors are also delegated to various schools across Goa,” says Ray, who has a master’s degree in Economics.

At Kaleidoscope she says, everyone believes that a child should possess three types of intelligence: IQ, EQ, and SQ. IQ measures comprehension ability, EQ measures the ability to maintain peace with others, and SQ measures social quotient or the ability to build a network. Ray says, “Being in daycare not only boosts a child’s confidence but also makes them friendly, decisive, responsible, and independent compared to kids staying at home.”

She further says that keeping kids in daycare is still considered taboo or frowned upon. “This perception is rooted in traditional family values and the idea that the primary responsibility of raising children lies with the parents, especially the mother. There is often pressure on women to prioritise their role as caregivers and stay at home to take care of their children.”

However, she says that societal norms and attitudes are gradually shifting, especially in urban areas, as more women are joining the workforce. “With the increasing number of nuclear families and the need for dual income, the demand for daycare facilities is also growing. Many working parents recognise the benefits of daycare, such as providing socialisation opportunities, early learning experiences and a safe environment for their children,” says Ray.

And to combat the taboo associated with daycare, she believes it is necessary to create awareness and educate people about the importance and benefits of such facilities. She says, “The government has made it mandatory for offices and factories to tie up with childcare centres or create their own childcare unit with the premises. It is a fresh start to welcoming our female force to join work again. ‘Kaleidoscope of Life’ is women-owned and is solely managed by women.”

While progress has been made, she says there is still a long way to go in fully realising the potential of the female workforce in India. “Ongoing efforts and continued focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment can contribute to making India a stronger and more inclusive economy. “‘Kaleidoscope of Life’ is a well-structured and managed daycare in Goa. We have facilitated cognitive ways of learning and provide children with the right platform.”

The future of sustainable daycare she says holds great potential for working women. “Supporting and encouraging women to go back to working is crucial for their personal growth and for creating a more equitable society. When women regain their confidence and find a place in the workforce, they not only excel in their careers but also serve as role models for future generations of women to pursue their dreams,” she concludes.