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A supportive child-rearing environment to counter declining births

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Taiwan is currently experiencing a steep decline in the national birth rate due in large part to changing values toward marriage and children, the economic burden of raising children, and a shortage of affordable quality child care. To address these issues, the government has implemented a raft of measures, including amending the Early Childhood Education and Care Act to allow private enterprises to establish cooperative education and care services for the children of employees, and crafting a formal policy response to the declining birth rate that includes comprehensive care for children ages 0-5. These policies are expected to reduce the strain of child-rearing, with the objective of encouraging more people to have children and ensuring the nation's continued competitiveness.

Strategies for comprehensive care for children ages 0-5

Expand public education and care services:
For infants and toddlers ages 0-2, the government is adding 440 public infant day care facilities from 2018 to 2022 to accommodate 5,280 more children. Subsidies are also available for children attending public infant day care facilities or privately operated infant care centers established by the government. Ordinary families receive monthly amounts of up to NT$3,000 (US$96) per child, lower-middle-income households NT$5,000, and low-income households NT$7,000. Larger families are eligible for an additional NT$1,000 each for the third child and after.

For children ages 2-5, public preschools will see the addition of 3,000 classes from 2017 to 2024 to make space for 86,000 more children. All children from low and lower-middle-income families may attend public and nonprofit preschools free of cost.

Subsidize costs for private education and care services:
For infants and toddlers ages 0-2, subsidies are available to help pay for government-approved nannies or private infant care centers. Ordinary families receive monthly subsidies of up to NT$6,000 per child, lower-middle-income families NT$8,000, and low-income households NT$10,000. Larger households are eligible for an additional NT$1,000 each for the third child and above.

For children ages 2-5 attending government-approved private preschools, parents each month pay only approximately NT$4,500 per child, and may deduct NT$1,000 for the third child and above. Children from low and lower-middle-income families can attend these facilities free of cost.

Expand coverage of child-rearing allowances:
The government also provides child-rearing allowances to eligible families. For infants and toddlers ages 0-2, ordinary families receive monthly amounts of NT$2,500 per child, lower-middle-income families NT$4,000, and low-income families NT$5,000. Larger households receive an additional NT$1,000 each for the third child and above.

For children ages 2-4, families receive monthly allowances of NT$2,500 per child, while larger households receive an additional NT$1,000 each for the third child and above.

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