In the year 2013, free childcare had been achieved. Three to five year old children were provided with Nuri Curriculum, the common curriculum for childcare centers and kindergartens, along with a full childcare cost subsidy. Non-users of all income classes were also supplied with child-rearing costs.
This research exercise was launched to review the childcare policies of the central and local governments. The research examined the current status and issues of budget-based projects including childcare facility supply, government subsidies to childcare centers, service quality management and child rearing benefits for non childcare center or preschool users. Among the policies examined, the pilot project for running government-approved childcare centers and child rearing benefit for non childcare center or preschool users examined closely. Based on the findings, policy recommendations including the future direction and matters for improvement have been presented.
As in the case of policy changes including full childcare subsidy for all users, the childcare budget has gradually increased; the proportion of the childcare subsidy to the nation’s GDP accounted for 0.325% in 2013, while the total childcare budget to GDP was 0.64%. In 2012, the childcare center supply rate stood at 61.1% and the childcare service usage rate to the number of children was 51.8%. Additionally, the usage rate of national/public childcare centers to the number of children stood at 10.8%. As of April 2013, the evaluation and certification pass rate was 85.1%, while less than 70 are sustaining the quality level. In 2013, the evaluation and certification results was disclosed to the public in order to utilize the evaluation results, while failing to contribute to enhancing childcare service quality in the absence of financial support. It was recommended that uniting the system was mandatory and necessary.
Regarding government-approved childcare centers was launched in the second half of 2011 and extended to 1,000 childcare centers in 2013, the effectiveness of the designation standards was examined with those personnel most concerned with childcare. In general, designation standards change was positively evaluated. Meanwhile, the cut-off point for designation as government-approved childcare centers needed to be raised, and subsidies should be provided directly to the children concerned or on a class basis. Three quarters of experts responded positively to the possibility of public childcare centers replacing national childcare centers. Parents' overall satisfaction levels were similar to that of national childcare center users, while on the quality of meals and snacks were lower. Also, the number of extracurricular activities were relatively higher. In terms of childcare center operation standards, use of the Clean Card and observance of the guidelines on extracurricular activities have been suggested as measures to be implemented.
Childrearing subsidies were mostly given to infants. The implementation of an additional policy regarding the control of the use of childrearing subsidies was not necessary due to the high rate of proper use. The younger the child was the proportion of lower income families was larger. Parents who quit their jobs after receiving the subsidies were 14.7% and those who worked lesser hours were 3.2%. Parents of children under 1 who quit their jobs were 22.7% and 5.9% reduced their work, which still shows the possibility of childrearing subsidies affecting the employment of mothers. Thus calls for responsive measures in executing future policies. Although the results are from the survey held at the period of introduction of the policy, the effectiveness of childrearing subsidies were high, notifying an achievement. Proposals to switch cash subsidies to vouchers were disapproved by 85.5% of the parents. Since the policies for subsidies and vouchers are distinct, maintaining the ready money subsidies are judged to be appropriate.
Table Of Contents
Ⅱ. 보육정책의 현황
Ⅲ. 지방정부 특수보육시책
Ⅳ. 공공형 어린이집의 모니터링과 평가
Ⅴ. 양육수당 수혜와 관련 인식
Ⅵ. 결론 및 향후 정책과제