Family life & childcare
Family is of huge importance in society for Indian and it is a dominant institution in the life of an individual. With the second largest population in the world, and often three or more generations often found living together under one roof showing just how much of an importance family life is in the country. This family structure is very well-suited to India’s current working conditions, and often family-run businesses will prefer to hire family members over anybody else out of preference. If you’re considering moving to India with children, and you’ve already considered schooling in India, then you may also be looking for childcare options in the country.
Traditional family values
Traditionally, the Indian family adhere to a patriarchal ideology, endorsing traditional gender role preferences, and abstains to the ‘joint family’ structure, where three or four generations including aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and grandparents will all live under one roof. This is the preferred family type in Indian culture, and the family will support each other by taking care of widows, never-married adults, the disabled and more, while providing a sense of support.
Generally in India, the elderly are obeyed, revered and considered to be fountains of knowledge and wisdom. Old age is expected to be a time of relaxation and solitude, where they no longer have to worry about running the household or finances. In most cases, the elderly will live with and care for their grandchildren, and will generally be consulted when it comes to important aspects of life.
Modern family values
Due to Western influence in the country, younger generations are increasingly turning away from the joint family form, and while family is still as important, the geographical proximity and hierarchal authority is not as important to some families as it once was. However frequent visits are still encouraged, and because of this families are still seen to be as close as under the traditional joint family structure. Due to an increasing amount of nuclear families (which is what an expat family would be considered as), this new structure is beginning to be preferred as a way of family life in modern Indian culture.
Childcare in India
While the government are trying to provide free education for children between the age of six and 14 years old, there are currently no free services for nursery or pre-schoolers at state level. While expats may generally consider international schools, the locals will often look to many grandparents to take responsibility to look after the children, particularly in dual-earner parent situations. In large cities, where most expats tend to live, there are much better childcare facilities for you to consider, with some even allowing children from the age of one. Many of the schools available for expats are established to high international standards. There is also the option of a nanny to look after your children, and while costs will depend on where you live, the experience of the nanny and the type of services that you choose, the monthly cost for a nanny will generally be between £50 and £130.