Taipei Opens 20 New Childcare Centers in Effort to Boost Birth Rates
Mayor Ko Wen-je inaugurated 20 new daycare centers for Taipei City during a press event on January 11.With the addition of the facilities, Taipei now boasts 17 government-owned-privately-operated childcare centers and 36 community-based institutions. The number of such childcare facilities is expected to reach 70 by the end of 2018, Ko pointed out.The mayor reckoned that larger-scale daycare centers are not easy to establish given limited space availability. Community-based facilities, on the other hand, have the benefit of more focused care, effective disease management, and more accessible locations despite higher costs. He has instructed Social Welfare Commissioner to digitize information regarding the City’s childcare resources to facilitate online search and queries. Ko noted that the new facilities offer a total of 223 openings. He expressed his gratitude to education, social welfare, public works, and other city agencies for their roles in transforming idle spaces into daycare venues, including the former Center for Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, district community centers, and idle spaces in junior high and elementary schools. He reiterated the importance of addressing the issue of low childbirth rates from a comprehensive viewpoint through childbirth incentives, alleviation for childrearing burden, and sound education system. Taipei currently provides NT$3,000 in subsidy for giving birth to the first and second child. Whether to provide cash incentive for the third child is still undergoing evaluation by the city government.