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(krĕsh, krāsh), representation of the Infant Jesus in the manger, usually surrounded by figures of Mary, Joseph, shepherds, animals, and the Wise Men; also called Christmas Crib. The crèche has been displayed in churches during the period from Christmas Eve to Jan. 6 since the Middle Ages, especially after St. Francis of Assisi instituted the custom in 1223 at Gréccio, Italy. It is a Christmas tradition in many homes. The term crèche is also applied to a day nurseryday nursery,
 day-care center,
or crèche
, institution for the care of the children of working parents. Originating in Europe in the late 18th and early 19th cent.
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(Russian, detskie iasli), in the USSR, a preschool educational establishment in the public health system for children from two months to three years of age.

Crèches provide health care and help ensure the proper physical and mental development of children. In 1913, Russia had 19 crèches, which cared for a total of 550 children. In the USSR the establishment of a broad network of crèches was a prerequisite for the provision of health care for mothers and children. In 1940 there were about 781,000 children in crèches, and in 1977 the number exceeded 3 million, including both children receiving day care and those receiving around-the-clock care.

Four age groups are distinguished in crèches: infant (to nine months), toddler (nine to 14 months), middle (14 to 24 months), and older (two to three years). Each group follows a suitable regimen that includes periodic medical examinations. Entrants undergo a medical examination and an epidemiologic investigation. A créche is directed by a person with a secondary medical education; the children’s health is supervised by a doctor from a pediatric polyclinic.

Since 1959 combined preschool establishments called crèche-kindergartens have been organized in the USSR. Most of the expenses involved in the organization and operation of crèches are covered by the state. In most socialist countries crèches are organized on essentially the same principles as in the USSR. A number of capitalist countries have institutions that serve children under the age of three, but institutions like crèches and crèche-kindergartens have not been extensively developed.

References in periodicals archive ?
Un enfant en creche passe en general plusieurs mois a alterner les rhinites, otites et gastroenterites, fievre, vomissements, diarrhees.
Childcare manager at the not-for-profit creche Carmel Staunton said: "Early this morning, a parent arrived in on site and lost control of their car and it ran into a window, which houses the pre-school Montessori room.
The facility provides places for 70 children from the local community, staff and students, who have campaigned since March when the future of the creche was first put in doubt under savings plans.
Observing that the creche service was inadequate, SC had asked senior lawyer Sidharth Luthra to explore the prospects for expanding its service within the available infrastructure.
A avaliacao da estrutura das creches, segundo a capacidade de atendimento a demanda, contemplou dados relativos ao numero de criancas por funcionario (total de criancas na creche/total de funcionarios na creche); a media de criancas convivendo na mesma sala de aula, por creche; e a media de criancas convivendo na mesma sala de descanso, por creche.
We joined the Chamber to let people know we can provide readymade creches for anytime, anywhere they may need childcare either on the bus or in a venue of their choice.
The creche will be managed by independent nannies at all times and will also have a selection of movies to keep the children entertained.
Em consonancia com essa concepcao, alguns autores (Rapoport & Piccinini, 2001a; Rossetti-Ferreira, Amorim, & Vitoria, 1996) ressaltam que a qualidade da adaptacao a creche depende de tres principais fatores: 1) caracteristicas da crianca; 2) contexto de cuidado familiar, especialmente a qualidade da interacao com a mae ou cuidador principal; e 3) qualidade da creche e da relacao que o educador estabelece com a crianca.
The new creche will provide an area for children aged from four months to four years, and all staff will be trained by the Worldwide Kids Company.
Childcare services ensure development of the young ones, schooling for the elder siblings and work options for the mother at the Creche.
A well-planned programme included all art forms and presentations by experts in every phase of creche history.