Publicly shared childcare system is designed to raise childcare levels and ease problems related to the operation of children’ houses
Kim Sun-soon, head of the Women’s & Family Policy Affairs Office at SMG. (Photos: SMG)
A Seoul-type public childcare system, one of Mayor Oh Se-hoon’s election pledges, is making its debut in four ward areas in Seoul.
The public childcare system is a new type of childcare in which three to five publicly- and privately-run daycare centers are joined for childcare.
It is designed to prevent excessive competition, save money, conduct joint purchases, share educational materials, teaching aids and educational programs, as well as raising childcare levels. It is expected to ease overconcentration into state- and publicly-run children’s daycare centers.
To this end, the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) said it was recruiting four wards to participate in the new childcare system. Applications were accepted between Aug. 2 and Aug. 8.
A Seoul-type publicly shared children’s daycare house, one of Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon’s election pledges, makes its debut in four ward areas.
Each of the four selected wards will operate 10 children’s daycare houses, for a combined 40 children’s houses. Each ward wanting to participate in the project is required to designate 10 participating children’s houses before submitting an application.
Each ward is required to have two to three regional areas, which would have three to five children’s houses within walking distance, including at least one publicly—and a privately—run children’s houses.
SMG plans to make the publicly shared childcare system to raise childcare levels and easing problems related to the operation of children’s houses.
Three to five children’s houses are joined together in each regional area in which a variety of programs are shared to improve childcare levels. Children’s houses in each region jointly recruit children, so parents are given more room to choose.
Childcare teachers and other staffers and parents are joining forces in planning shared programs to improve childcare levels of participating daycare centers.
In the process, the Seoul Support Center for Childcare, SMG’s body responsible for daycare nursing and childcare programs, will help develop programs and offer a variety of consulting services.
For example, programs to be shared by each regional area will include “play programs” to save money, weekend and evening childcare services, the operation of joint substitute teachers and administrative staffers, joint purchasing of educational materials and teaching aids, sharing vehicles, and childcare programs coupled with the regional community.
Programs will vary on an autonomous basis according to conditions of each regional area and parents’ demands.
SMG plans to offer a variety of support for the early settlement of the new publicly shared childcare system, boosting participation and improving childcare services.
SMG will dispatch one substitute teach to each participating children’s house and offer 50,000 won to 100,000 won in teacher or president’s activity allowances.
The metropolitan government will also offer 5 million won to each regional area for operating shared programs and dispatching a staffer responsible for supporting each ward’s sharing and collaboration.
SMG plans to expand the publicly shared childcare system to all ward areas next year after analyzing the project’s outcomes and effects and complementing them, Kim Sun-soon, head of the Women’s & Family Policy Affairs Office at SMG said.
Kang Hee-eun, chief of the Childcare Division at the Women’s & Family Policy Affairs Office, said, “The Seoul-type publicly shared children’s houses will show off the possibility of improving overall services by sharing and cooperating each other.”
The new publicly shared childcare system is expected to contribute greatly to easing problems related to the operation of children’s daycare centers in a changing environment with current low birth rate and a reduction in children, Kang added.