This research exercise was launched to review the childcare policies of the central and local governments, in particular, the government subsidy provided to childcare centers and the pilot project for running government-approved child care centers, with an aim of future policy development. Specifically, the research examined the current status and issues of budget-based projects including childcare facility supply, government subsidies to childcare centers, support related to teachers, and service quality management, while reviewing the childcare policies of local governments. Among the policies examnied, the running government-approved child care centers examined closely and based on the findings, policy recommendations including the future direction and matters for improvement have been presented as follows.
As in the case of other policy changes, the childcare budget has gradually increased; the proportion of the childcare subsidy to the nation's GDP accounted for 0.20% in 2010 and the figure grew to 0.22% in 2011, while the total childcare budget to GDP was 0.51%, and has now increased to 0.69%, factoring in the support for early childhood education and infants and children in farming and fishing villages. In 2010, the childcare center supply rate stood at 56.9% and the childcare service usage rate to the number of children was 46.8%. Additionally, the usage rate of national/pulic childcare centers to the number of children stood at 10.8%. Overall, the first two figures showed a slight increase, but the last figure changed little. As of April 2010, the teacher evaluation and certification pass rate was 70.1%, up about 10% from 60.5% in 2009. However, the evaluation and certification results have hardly ever been utilized due to a lack of information relating to discourse, while failing to contribute to enhancing childcare service quality in the absence of financial support. Thus, it was felt that converting the system to one which was mandatory was a necessary move.
A group of experts have pointed out that the government childcre subsidy given to parents, which is only allowed to subsidize the cost of childcare centers, is often thought of as a subsidy directly provided to childcare centers. Additionally, the believed that childcare centers should not receive the subsidy for any number of children that exeed the center's enrollment limit. The subsidy is effective in reducing the additional cost burdens on parents, however, as the purpose and usage of the financial support remain unclear, the subsidy fails to translate into enhanced service quality. Atthe same time, since it allows childcare centers to make profits, the number of childcare centers for infants has drastically increased, creating further demand. This, in turn, has contributed to an undesirable tendency of parents taking child-rearing less seriously and becoming less responsible for child-rearing, which leads to adverse effects on child development.
Regarding government-approved childcare centers, for which a pilot project was launched in the second half of 2011, the effectiveness of the designation standards was examined with those personnel most concerned with childcare. In general, prize-winning records, the ration of children entitled to subsidies, and director's career background required re-examination, therefore these items were thought to need downward adjustment in assigned points or deletion altogether. Meanwhile, the cut-off point for designation as governments-approved childcare centers needed to be raised, and subsidies should be provided directly to the children concerned or on a class basis. In terms of childcare center operation standards, operation of the standard childcare and education curriculum, use of the Clean Card, limiting government approved child care centers to those operating during regular and outside of regular hours, observance of the guidelines on extracurricular activities and use of one banking account per one facility have been suggested as measures to be implemented. Regular evaluation through a management system, operation of monitoring teams, education in relation to financial accounting have been pointed out as items for further reinforcement. The provision of workshops for childcare staff was suggested as well.
Table Of Contents
Ⅱ. 보육정책의 현황
Ⅲ. 지방정부 특수보육시책
Ⅳ. 민간·가정어린이집 재정 지원 사업 검토