To address Taiwan's falling birth rate, the government has implemented a child care facilities plan under the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program. Running from 2017 to 2022, the plan is funded by a special budget of NT$6 billion (US$212.5 million) divided into three terms. The program will expand public child care and education facilities, create friendly child care spaces, and provide care and education services at reasonable prices with guaranteed quality. In addition to easing the economic burden of childrearing on parents, these efforts are expected to help combat the birth rate crisis.
Two key objectives
■ Community-based public nurseries: Furnish local governments with subsidies to provide safe, reasonably priced care in a small, home-based care format, which combines the best of existing nursery centers and nanny care. Alternately, as conditions dictate, establish publicly constructed but privately operated day care centers to provide superior service at a set, reasonable tuition. As for indigenous and remote areas, provide resources to make available child care tailored to local culture and conditions.
■ Put existing school space to good use to accommodate additional preschoolers: Provide subsidies to local governments to fund the construction of new public preschool facilities at disused school spaces or where old school buildings have been demolished. Local governments and schools applying for the funds will be free to choose their own building contractors, thus infusing each project with local culture and character. This will create safe spaces where kids can study and explore.