Measures that counters falling fertility rate(Early education and care for the children between 2 to 6 years old)
Executive Yuan had approved the “measures that counters falling fertility rates” proposed by Ministry of Education and other 10 Ministries on July 25th, 2018, to lay the foundation of Taiwan’s future manpower and reduce the strain of child-rearing. In order to achieve the comprehensive care from the age 0 to 6, following these two major guidelines of “Expanding the availability of affordable public education” and “Alleviate financial burden of parents” for the education and care services of the preschool children, the government has implemented a raft of measures such as “Expand public ECEC services”, “Build up a quasi-public mechanism” and “Childcare allowances”. Those measures are the most supportive child-rearing policies provided by government to the young families in recent years. It is expected that by the year of 2024, the enrollment rates of preschool for the children between 2 to 6 will raise up to 72% exceeding the average rate of the OECD countries. 70% of children attending the education service will have the opportunities to choose the affordable education and care services.
1.Expand public ECEC services (public preschool and non-profit preschool)
Ministry of Education has always adopted the expansion of the public and non-profit preschool as one of the major administrations, and subsidized the local government to increase the number of public preschools since 2000. To demonstrate the determination of expanding the public ECEC services, the “Measures that counters falling fertility rate“ had increased the capabilities, and it is expected to increase total number of 3,000 addition classes in these 8 years period (from 2017 to 2024). By the year 2024, The total number of the public ECEC services availability will reach about 270,000 openings, which will mainly focus on establishing the additional preschool in the existing elementary school facilities, and the increasing in the class numbers will be 2.2 times than the total number of the past 16 years. During the first 4 years (from 2017 to 2020) of these plan execution, Ministry of Education had already approved the application of 1,550 addition classes and 42,000 openings.
2.Build up a quasi-public mechanism
Since the availability of the public ECEC service cannot meet the public needs in a short time of period, however the demands from the parents for the affordable education services still need to be fulfilled on time. Government had adopted a quasi-public mechanism to integrate with qualified private preschools to provide the families an alternative solution for the affordable education services. In the year of 2019, there are 1,098 private preschools filed the application to enroll in the program and had provided more than 110 thousand of openings for the parents. By participate this program, parents will pay no more than 4,500 NTD per child each month, and an additional 1,000 NTD deduction for the third child and above. For the children from the low and lower-middle income families can attend these facilities with no costs.
The quasi-public mechanism will not only provide the parents with affordable early education and care services, but also maintain the certain wage level for the preschool educators, increasing their willingness to stay at the preschool, subsidizing the funds of teaching facilities and equipment to enhance the quality of education and care services.
To alleviate the financial burden of the parents, the government provides the childcare allowances to those eligible families with 2 to 5 years old children, paying the income tax at the rates lower than 20% and not receiving the communalization of ECEC services for their children, with the monthly amount of 2,500 NTD per child, and an additional 1,000 NTD for the third child and above.