Childcare subsidies to be extended to all parents


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TACKLING LOW BIRTHRATE:
The government is also to raise the minimum monthly wage for childcare workers at public daycare centers from NT$28,000 to NT$35,000

  • By Lee Hsin-fang and William Hetherington / Staff reporter, with staff writer

Starting on Jan. 1, subsidies offered to families with young children would be extended to all parents of young children regardless of household income, the Executive Yuan said yesterday.

Currently, only households that pay less than 20 percent annual income tax — those who earn less than NT$1.21 million (US$37,685) per year — are eligible for the subsidies. The government offers childcare allowances to parents with children younger than two and daycare subsidies to those with children under five.

A school subsidy offered to parents with five-year-old children would also be extended to families with five-year-olds who do not attend school, the Executive Yuan said, adding that the parents of 41,900 five-year-olds nationwide are expected to benefit from the new policy.

Taipei Times file photo

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) announced the policies while presenting a report on government measures to tackle the nation’s declining birthrate.

“Our aim is take better care of families with kids six and under, and the two new policies together will benefit 1.03 million children across Taiwan,” the Ministry of Education said.

From Jan. 1, parents with children under two would be offered up to NT$5,000 per month to help with public daycare fees, or NT$8,500 for children attending so-called “quasi-public” daycares or nurseries.

Those with children aged two to six would have their monthly subsidies for public daycare fees capped at NT$1,000 for the first child, while the limit would be NT$2,000 for non-profit daycares and NT$3,000 for quasi-public daycares.

Su also said the minimum monthly wage for public daycare workers who care for children would be increased from NT$28,000 to NT$35,000.

Those working at quasi-public daycares and kindergartens would be paid a minimum of NT$36,000, up from NT$30,000, he said, adding that the increase is expected to benefit 75,000 childcare workers.

Su said the increase aims to help retain childcare workers at public and quasi-public daycare centers and kindergartens.

The Ministry of Education said its budget for next year was increased by NT$5.5 billion to pay for the new policies, bringing its budget to more than NT$100 billion.

The legislature’s Education and Culture Committee on Thursday last week passed the resolution abolishing the income requirement for childcare subsidies.

The Ministry of Education first began proposing measures to tackle the declining birthrate in 2018, and one of the measures it came up with was raising childcare allowances and subsidies, which was implemented in August, Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) said.

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