Early childhood is not only the starting point of one’s lifelong education, but also the period when one’s characteristic is formed and physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially balanced growth is made. This is also the life stage when output is the biggest when the same amount of human capital investment is made. That is why the government and the society have a very important responsibility. So, in order to realize equality and create level playing field, the government should put efforts to nurture talented human resources from an early stage, by closing the existing gap in early childhood education, child care service and welfare level, which is generated by the socioeconomic disparities, and by providing decent early childhood education and child care service. This report aims to propose methods to improve early childhood education and child care, in order to realize a fair society under the concept of ecosystemic development.
Current child care policy includes the following problems. First, the number of public and private facilities is uneven in every region, even after taking the number of children in each region into consideration. Second, due to the current universal assisting policy, low income families are relatively getting less support. Also, many low income families cannot afford educational expenses other than basic education, and there is a limitation for them to improve their family’s educational and cultural environment by themselves. Third, customized support according the parent’s ability to rear their children is insufficient, and in particular, policies on supporting dual income families are not reaping intended effect. Also, the current cost support which is only centered around facility users is generating adverse side effects, as even parents who do not necessarily need child care facility are using the service. Furthermore, although non-facility users get child benefit, as it is only given to second highest class and the amount is small, it is not efficient. Fourth, analysis on limitations of current universal assisting policy should be made, which provides certain amount of money to everyone regardless income level. And accordingly, an effective investment direction on early childhood education and child care should be searched upon.
This report, in order to resolve the above mentioned problems and advance child care policy in pursuing ecosystemic development, aims to provide ways to improve accessibility, affordability and quality of the service, so that everyone can benefit from the service regardless of differences in region, income level and individual preferences. The followings are the detailed methods.
First, public infrastructure should be expanded and the quality of child care assistance service should be improved. To this end, further assistance is needed to expand public facilities gradually and constantly, and to secure publicity for private facilities that are above certain level of quality. At the same time, the quality of the overall public child care centers that assist child care should be enhanced.
Second, educational expenses in kindergarten and child care centers should be provided for free. Also, expenses for the basic education should be supported universally for every child, and other educational expenses after the basic education curriculum should be assisted differentially, according family income level.
Third, according to parent’s ability to rear child, effective support should be strengthened. To this end, by identifying demand on time-extended child care service and boosting coordination among related institutions, time-extended service should be improved. Support for working and non-working mothers should be differentiated. Also, working mothers should be prioritized in using child care centers, and more people should be able to benefit from child care service for infants, support for child rearing.
Fourth, to close the educational and developmental gap at an early stage in life, teachers in kindergarten and child care center should identify children who lag behind, and give comprehensive guidance for them. Also, experts from the government-assisted programs and local welfare centers should coordinate and collaborate with teachers to give individual guidance for the children who lag behind.
Fifth, education for the parents of low income families should be provided to strengthen their capabilities. Integrated service should be expanded by designating certain kindergartens and child care centers as foothold base and connecting them to local welfare projects. Also, customized support should be strengthened according to family types and it provided in connection with local welfare center or government projects.
Table Of Contents
▪ 연구의 배경 1
▪ 연구의 목적 2
▪ 주요 연구 내용 2 1. 영유아기 교육의 중요성 및 국가 책임 강화 필요 2 가. 영유아기는 교육 효과가 가장 큰 시기 2 나. 유아교육 투자가 OECD 국가에 상대적으로 미흡 3 다. 양육인프라 부족과 자녀 교육비 부담 4 라. 공정한 출발선 보장을 위한 국가 책임 강화 필요 6 마. 사회통합을 위한 OECD의 권고 사항 6 2. 최근 유아교육･보육 정책 8 가. 5세 누리과정 8 나. 3･4세 누리과정 9 다. 영아 보육료 및 양육수당 지원 10 3. 유아교육･보육 재정 현황 및 전망 12 가. 유아교육 재정 현황 12 나. 보육 재정 현황 16 다. 유아교육･보육 재정 전망 22 4. 공생발전을 위한 육아정책의 현황과 문제점 24 가. 지역별 격차의 문제 24 나. 소득별 격차의 문제 31 다. 부모의 자녀양육 여건별 맞춤형 지원 미흡 34 라. 보편 지원에 따른 문제점 및 대안 모색 37
▪ 정책제언 42 1. 육아정책의 선진화 방향 및 모형 42 2. 정책 과제와 방안 43 가. 공공 인프라 확대 및 육아지원 서비스의 질 관리 43 나. 유아학비･보육료 지원 확대 및 실질적 형평성 확보 44 다. 부모의 자녀양육 여건에 따른 실효성 있는 지원 강화 45 라. 생애 초기 발달･교육 격차 해소 47 마. 취약계층 통합적 서비스 및 가정유형별 맞춤형 지원 강화 47