Early childhood care and education (ECCE) services has become universal welfare services as supply of kindergartens and childcare centers increased, and subsidies for using ECCE services became universal. Inequality, however, still exists in terms of opportunities to use ECCE services depending on each household’s financial circumstances or regional gaps of ECCE infrastructure.
This research examines measures to improve equity in using ECCE services, focusing on the fact that inequality in terms of opportunities of using ECCE services hampers social integration because it prevents children from having equal starting points.
Literature review and expert investigation (75 academia experts), and surveys were conducted. 1,250 households with infants and young children participated in the surveys.
Major analysis results of this research are as follows.
1) Experts answered that ‘opportunities to use (81.3%)’, ‘service quality (72.0%), and ‘cost (53.0%)’ are the elements of equity in using ECCE services. Experts also pointed out that equity in using ECCE services is closely related to social integration.
2) Regional deviations exist in terms of supply of ECCE services. The regions where childcare centers and kindergartens are in short supply compared to infants and young children population have only small number of vacancies in their kindergartens and childcare centers. It is analyzed that these regions are where new kindergartens and childcare centers need to be established.
3) Many parents tend to use ECCE services not only because they need somebody to take care of their children during work hours, but because they recognize the necessity of ECCE services for they are good for child development. It is necessary to improve the equity so that the opportunity is open to everybody.
4) ECCE infrastructure and household income are major factors that limit the use of ECCE services.
5) When ECCE services are in short supply, parents’ awareness on the positive impact of ECCE policies tends to be lowered.
6) For the measures to improve equity in using ECCE services, public kindergartens and childcare centers requested expansion of institutions, private kindergartens asked for lightening the burden of additional fees, and private childcare centers called for service quality improvement.
This research suggests following measures for the improvement of equity in using ECCE services based on the major results.
1) Establishment of a supply-demand plan of kindergartens and childcare centers by ages and regions through the calculation of integrated statistics of both types of institutions. Overcoming inequality in each region by providing enough ECCE services that fit each region’s demand based on the plan.
2) Public kindergartens and childcare centers require continuous expansions so that they can accommodate as many children as possible; private kindergartens and childcare centers need to focus on quality improvement and diminishing cost burdens.
3) Strengthening establishment standards of childcare centers so that they can guarantee certain level of quality from the beginning. Narrowing the gap between kindergarten services and childcare center services by spending Nuri Curriculum budget for service quality improvement. Applicable act for the integration of kindergartens and childcare centers needs to be established to apply common standards for major items related to service quality.
4) Developing and providing customized services that satisfy the needs of service users.
5) Supporting additional cost to the marginalized.
Table Of Contents
II. 연구의 배경
Ⅲ. 보육·교육 서비스 공급 이용 현황 및 정책 분석
Ⅳ. 영유아 가구의 보육·교육 서비스 이용 실태
Ⅴ. 영유아의 보육교육서비스에 대한 인식