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Child care policy for ages 0-6: higher subsidies, more spots in care facilities

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Premier Su Tseng-chang on Thursday received a Ministry of Education briefing on the nation's child care policy for ages 0-6. Since President Tsai Ing-wen took office, the premier said, the administration has worked diligently to make child-rearing easier on young parents by lifting burdens and increasing benefits. This includes expanding the number of spots at affordable preschools and day care facilities, significantly raising child care subsidies, and even allowing for larger income tax deductions. The objective of the ages 0-6 child care policy is to create an environment where citizens and young people can live and work in contentment and with greater confidence to enter marriage, have kids and raise families.

Child care subsidies will be increased to NT$3,500 (US$123) per month in August and further to NT$5,000 per month in August of next year, Premier Su continued. Aside from higher child care subsidies, preschool tuition will be reduced by NT$1,000 per month starting this August. Next August, the tuition will be cut by another NT$500 per month so that families will pay no more than NT$3,000 monthly for a first child. Tuition for second and third children will be decreased by a further NT$1,000 and NT$2,000 respectively.

Furthermore, the next four years will see the addition of 64,000 spaces in public child care centers and preschools as the expansion of affordable services continues. In 2016 the government invested NT$15 billion (US$464.1 million) in child care and early education for children ages 0-6. This budget has grown to NT$55 billion (US$1.9 billion) this year and will jump to NT$85 billion (US$3 billion) in 2023.

The policy of working together as a nation to raise children from birth through the age of six is aimed at lightening the burden on young people by harnessing the entire nation's resources, Premier Su explained. He expressed confidence that the people of Taiwan could unite to raise new generations of responsible citizens capable of supporting a great nation.

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