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Implementation of the 5-Year-Old Child Education Support Plan

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  • Post Date: 12/29/2009

To implement preschool education policy and increase educational opportunities for preschool children, the Ministry of Education launched the "5-year-old Child Education Support Plan" (Child Education Support Plan for short) in 2004. Support was gradually extended from children living in the three counties and three townships on offshore islands and those from low-income and lower-income families to cover every 5-year-old in the ROC. In the 2009 school year, the criteria of tuition funding for 5-year-olds were established in line with the income and the number of children of each household. Disadvantaged families are now able to send their 5-year-old children to receive good preschool education. In the first semester of the 2009 school year, over one hundred thousand children from families with incomes below NT$600,000 received the benefit and as many as 93.74% of the 5-year-olds from disadvantaged families were able to attend kindergarten. The result of the Child Education Support Plan has been remarkable.

In addition to allocating subsidies for preschool child education expenses, the plan also includes setting up kindergartens in elementary schools in aboriginal townships, towns and cities where preschool education establishments are inadequate, providing funding for after-school care in public kindergartens, as well as providing transportation or giving transportation subsidies for 5-year-old children living far away from their schools. The achievements of the plan in the 2009 school year are as follows:

  1. 92.12% of the 5-year-old children, over 157,000, were able to attend kindergarten in the first semester of the 2009 school year.
  2. As a result of the regulation established in the 2009 school year stipulating that only children going to a qualified private kindergarten or daycare center could receive funding, 98.26% of the private kindergartens and daycare centers are now officially registered.
  3. In the 2009 school year, 8 public kindergartens (11 classes) were set up in aboriginal townships, towns and cities, bringing the total number of elementary schools with a kindergarten in aboriginal townships, towns and cities to 275, accounting for 78.35% of all the elementary schools in these places.
  4. 4,236 children were able to receive after-school care in public kindergartens as a result of the funding which cost approximately NT$22 million.
  5. Transportation subsidies that came to approximately NT$3.53 million were approved for 116 children in Taitung County and six other counties/cities.

In order to look after the disadvantaged and carry out the government's population policy, the Child Education Support Plan has been implemented through a social welfare funding approach. With limited financial resources, the government has to take gradual steps to demonstrate its commitment to helping families in child education. Nevertheless, the implementation of the Child Education Support Plan has already taken Taiwan one step closer to free education for all 5-year-old children.

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