The purpose of this study was to examine 1) the effects of providing subsidies for infants and young children on the utilization of childcare services, rates of women entering the workforce, and birthrates and to 2) analyze the influence of the new voucher system on parents’ perceptions of the policy and the relationships between childcare centers and families. The results of the study are expected to provide implications for developing a more effective policy support system for child care.
The effects of central and local governments’ subsidies for childcare expenses on the utilization of childcare and education services, perceptions of the policy, and women’s employment rates and birthrates were analyzed at three levels, including the national, municipal/county/local, and personal level. The data from the last 14 years indicated that the utilization rate of childcare services and women’s employment rates have been increasing with continued expansion of the governmental budgets for childcare, but the birthrate has been in overall decline. The analysis on the data from 232 municipal/county/local areas, however, revealed the positive effects of providing cash or additional subsidies based on children’s birth order. In particular, providing additional subsidies for families with more than three children had a significant influence on the increased utilization rate of childcare services by families with more than two children. Providing subsidies or grants for the encouragement of birth for families with more than two children showed a positive impact upon the birthrates at the municipal/county/local level and increased the number of families with more than two children. In addition, analysis of the data from 1,300 individual infants and young children revealed that this policy alleviated parents’ perceived burden of child rearing and it had a positive mediating effect on families’ intention to have more children. The differentiated amounts of subsidy based on the number of children and the experience of receiving incentive grants for a new-born baby in particular, had an impact upon the intention of families with only-child to have more children. It is hard however, to conclude that these results directly came about as a result of the policy, since the data analysis models used did not allow for direct correlations to be made. The actualization of the decision for having more children requires more powerful policies.
Data on perceptions of childcare center directors and parents in areas using the model electronic card system for childcare services indicated that parents’ recognition of the childcare subsidy has indeed increased but did not meet expectations. Thus, greater attention to public awareness is required. In terms of the changes in the relationships between families and childcare centers, there was little expansion in the communication opportunities but, at the same time, some negative side effects were perceived. More effective counseling services are needed and guidelines should be developed in order to prohibit interruptions in childcare during parental visits.
Table Of Contents
Ⅱ. 영유아 양육비용 지원 제도 및 현황
Ⅲ. 양육비용 지원의 효과 관련 선행연구 및 시사점
Ⅳ. 영유아 양육비용 지원의 효과
Ⅴ.영유아 양육비용 지원방식 변화의 효과: 보육서비스 이용권제도를 중심으로
Ⅵ. 정책제언 및 맺는 말