With the belief that preventive measures for child abuse are the foundation for a civil society, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has decided to focus its childcare policies to this effect. On January 22, the city government announced, “Preventive Measures for Child Abuse in Childcare Facilities,” which contains the city’s efforts to eradicate child abuse by investing KRW 28.7 billion, in 2015, and a total of KRW 133 billion, by 2018, towards child abuse prevention projects. This is in addition to its investment in the expansion of public and national childcare facilities (KRW 630 billion between 2015 and 2018).
The Seoul Metropolitan Government believes that, in order to fundamentally resolve the issues of child abuse in daycare facilities, it is important to 1) raise public concern about childcare, 2) come up with measures to improve the qualifications of daycare teachers, and 3) establish a foundation to consistently maintain it.
Therefore, on top of the additional 1,000 public and national childcare facilities that Mayor Park Won Soon has been pursuing, the city government will raise the ratio of national and public childcare centers to 28 percent by 2018 and establish a Childcare Quality Support Center (expected to open in May 2015) In order to achieve a groundbreaking leap forward in the fostering and recruiting system of daycare teachers.
Moreover, comprehensive childcare support centers in 25 administrative districts, as well as Seoul, will work hand in hand with the child abuse prevention centers in seven regions and Seoul. By dividing the efforts and ensuring collaboration between the two types of centers, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will synergize the two major institutions to improve child abuse prevention and response on a local level. In this way, the handling of child abuse cases will be expedited.
Furthermore, other improvements will take place as part of this project: Restoring self-esteem for daycare teachers by improving their working conditions, providing a guide for child discipline, child abuse check lists and example manuals to be put to use on site, and allowing open all hours childcare centers so that parents can come and go as they wish.
The main points in the “Preventive Measures for Child Abuse in Childcare Facilities” include: ① establishing the necessary infrastructure to eradicate child abuse, ② reinforcing the child abuse prevention system and early detection systems, ③ improving the daycare teacher fostering and supply system, ④ improving the work conditions for daycare teachers, ⑤ operating open and participatory daycare centers, ⑥ strengthening administrative measures for child abuse, and ⑦ creating an additional 1,000 national and public childcare centers.