This study reviews the progress status and key issues of the policy to supply state-run, workplace, and public type child care centers and public kindergartens which have been promoted by the government to provide a child care and education environment where parents can entrust their children to the system. Moreover, this study aims to seek policy measures to promote the public child care and education supply policy in the future by establishing an analysis framework and evaluating the public child care and education supply policy through this framework, and by assessing opinions and needs of concerned public officials, directors of child care centers, parents and etc. about the supply of the public childcare and education. For research method, this study examined related laws, systems and previous research, conducted a secondary analysis of the National Child Care Actual Conditions Survey and the satisfaction survey of users using child care centers, and analyzed the financial accounting material of child care centers. At the same time, a survey was held with local government officials, professional officials from municipal and provincial education offices, field specialists, child care center directors and parents using workplace child care facilities.
Based on the results of this study, recommendations are as follows.
First, the public childcare and education supply policy should be promoted through an objective and rational demand projection. Although child care facilities and kindergartens are in a substitutive relationship, the child care supply and demand plan and the early childhood accommodation plan are established independently. The child care supply and demand plan applies the child care demand rate derived from the survey of child care real condition that is held once every three years, and the early childhood accommodation plan reflects the result of the survey of the demand for kindergarten services that is conducted by municipal and provincial education offices once every three years, thus the calculation method or the criteria also differs. It is necessary to develop an objective and rational demand calculation method that can encompass both child care centers and
kindergartens to apply in the supply policy.
Second, an adequate public child care and education supply standard should be established. The “Saessak Plan” (the middle and long term child care development plan) stipulates that the public child care infrastructure shall be expanded by 30% of the supply rate, and the Third Basic Plan on Low Fertility and Ageing Society defines that state-run, workplace, and public type child care centers shall be expanded by up to 45%. However, these materials do not provide any basis of calculation. According to the Population Projections, infant-toddler population shall sharply decline from 2020, therefore an adequate supply standard should be established through multi-faceted assessment such as the supply system of the current child care centers and kindergartens, decline of infant-toddler population and improvement of the quality of child care services.
Third, a standard on selecting priority regions for establishing public child care and education facilities should be provided. Unlike the Handbook for the Child Care Business and the Early Childhood Education Act, this study found that places that required the expansion of public child care centers and public kindergartens were urban areas or areas densely populated by infants and toddlers. Therefore, a standard should be provided to allow areas other than priority regions to have precedence in establishing facilities if
there are demands for child care and education facilities.