This study investigated the effects of and demands for a policy on providing support for childcare expenses, especially in relation to forms of child support which have long been continually disputed in terms of both their effectiveness and characteristics, and henceforth, to seek measures to improve the policy.
The main research methods utilized were a review of the previous literature on the effects of the policy of funding for child care, etc., the implementation of questionnaires targeting 1,007 recipients of child home care allowances and 1,006 non-recipients, and holding two academic symposiums in order to collect opinions on possible policy measures.
The review on the current status of foreign and domestic policies for childcare allowances indicated that, in Korea, the effect of the policy which allows the central government to provide cash support for children with special needs (e.g. the disabled) generally based on income levels may fall short of its goal, and the provision of cash support by local government may produce vast, regional differences, raising the controversial question of equity in provision. On the other hand, in the case of other countries, the child home care allowance is designed mainly to provide working parents with the right to decide on child home care. It has been established that the ages of the target children are limited to young children, and when and if the allowance clashes with the woman's right to work, they result in negative consequences.
According to the analysis of the results of the questionnaires on the effectiveness of the policy of child home care allowances, it was found that among recipients, the level of awareness of the policy was 86.1% and, even among non-recipients, the need for the policy was very high at 95.2%. These figures were helpful in understanding the fact that, regardless as to whether children used facilities and institutions or not, the demand for cash support for children remained high. In addition, among the recipient households of the child home care allowance, the maternal employment rate was only 8.7%, indicating that most mothers remained at home and took care of their children personally. The main reason given for child home care was that "the child is too young"(approximately 81%). The major effects of this policy appeared to be that whereas the alleviation of the burden due to childcare expenses and further development of children were rated relatively high, the effects of ensuring parental choice and freedom to select what education best suits their child and enhancing the fertility rate were generally rated low. Furthermore, it was found that the lower the household income, the greater the effect of alleviation of the financial burden was related to the issue of childcare, and the younger the age of children, the greater the effect of the enhancement in child development was observed.
Furthermore, the demand for a child home care allowance indicated that, first, among the non-recipients of the allowance belonging to the class below the second highest class, 35.8% expressed their determination to raise their children personally at home even with the offer of an increase from the current state(approximately $100~200) of the allowance. Their expected payment was approximately $470 monthly. Secondly, 38.1 % of employed mothers who have received funding for childcare expenses expressed their intention to personally take caring of their children at home if they were to receive approximately $740 monthly as a childcare allowance. Thirdly, both recipients and non-recipients expressed their intentions of having an additional child on the condition that recipients receive approximately $460 and non-recipients receive about $530~610. Lastly, among those who responded with the opinion that the current amount of the allowance is inappropriate, the expected, optimal payment ran to an additional $130~150 for the recipient and an additional $150~180 for non-recipients
Based on the findings of this research, the following directions for future policy involving child home care allowance are presented. As a means to maintain the present policy, restricting children's ages to the current target age groups for the support is suggested. Further, in order to maintain a degree of discretion about the expansion of the income standard of applicants to include the low 70% that receives funding for childcare institutions, to increase the payment to $300 monthly but not beyond $400, the level where the woman's right to work conflicts with. In terms of a possible reform plan of the current policy, the following measures are suggested; expanding the categories of applicants to include small children so that the childcare service maintains its complementary nature, and finally, either readjusting payments to more realistic levels or substituting payments with a child allowance to meet the demand for cash support. The end goal of all these strategies is to gradually expand the age of children able to receive support and ensuring that income standards are achieved.
Table Of Contents
Ⅱ. 연구의 배경
Ⅲ. 국내외 양육수당제도 현황
Ⅳ. 양육수당의 정책 효과와 수요
Ⅴ. 북한의 가정내 양육 실태