The purpose of this study was to explore issues related to public investment in education and care services for young children, including investments parental subsidy, governance infrastructure, and support services. We reviewed the current status of the governmental investments and parental burdens for childcare and education, as well as the national plan (from 2006 to 2010) for support care and education in terms of their efficiency and equity. Moreover, the extent of the government investments was estimated, and its benefits to ECEC services were discussed. Policy alternatives were, then, provided in order to improve the quality of services, the efficiency of investments, and the equity in terms of accessibility and affordability.
This study analyzed differences among socio-economic classes in the use of various types of childcare and education services and the costs paid for these services. For the analysis of differences among socio-economic classes in terms of the use and cost of raw materials in 2004, a national household survey on child rearing was partly used.
In addition, this study estimated the annual fiscal scale of mid- to long-term plans and several policy alternatives. It was found that household income levels could accounted for 15% of the costs paid by the parents for ECEC services. To parental groups of low income, the cost was low, but its proportion to the entire household income was high relatively, which indicates the necessity of subsidies for parents of low income.
The national mid- to long-term plan of supporting child care and education for young children will contribute to solving the shortage of quality programs, unequal access, and disadvantages children encounter due to parental income levels. The burden of costs on parents will also be sufficiently reduced to afford adequate ECEC provision for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. But the real investment differences and unequal access, according to parents" socio-economic status, in private sectors will remain as it is now.
The estimation of investment for childhood care and education in 2010 amounted to 6576 billion won, which will account for 0.65% of the GDP. The ratio of the ECEC cost burden to household income ranged from 7% to 4%, according to ages of the children and differences in cost.
This study suggests several policy alternatives for increased equity, efficiency, service quality and the alleviation of burdens upon families. In terms of equity, modifying the parental subsidy system was suggested in order to lessen parental burdens. Considering the various income levels of parents, and further modifying the two types of subsidies for private services into a single simplified system was also suggested. Regarding the inequity in investment, a unified fund sharing system between central and local governments would need to be more flexible, and unequal accessibility to private education and activities would also be a task for the government to manage.
From the perspectives of efficiency in investment, this study recommended a dual system of subsidy: full subsidy for working mothers and half subsidy for non-working mothers. Now, the working state of parents is not a quantifiable element in the subsidy system. Non-working mothers can freely access their subsidies only if their household income levels are aquate . This condition drew criticism that the national investment was wasteful.
This study also suggested additional subsidies and the introduction of a new tax system for large families and working mothers, so as to alleviate excess costs in ECEC. And finally, the improvement of working conditions, as well as salaries, was recommended as a measure for improving the quality of services.
Table Of Contents
Ⅱ. 양극화와 육아분야에서의 대응
Ⅲ. 육아지원 제도 및 재정
Ⅳ. 제 특성별 육아지원 이용 및 비용 격차
Ⅴ. 외국의 육아비용 지원
Ⅵ. 사회적 격차 해소를 위한 육아지원 계획과 과제
Ⅶ. 육아비용 지원에 대한 향후 정책 대안
Ⅷ. 맺는 말