The universal Elementary Dolbom program will be launched in Seoul to fill childcare gaps during after school hours, vacations, and holidays for dual-income or single-parent families with elementary school students. With an emphasis placed on infant and childcare, Seoul expanded the number of national and public childcare centers to 1,500 centers over the past seven years and will increase the number of Our Neighborhood Kium Centers for elementary school students to 400 centers by 2022. This means that there will be a center within a ten-minute walking distance from each student’s school or home.
The Dolbom service network for first-time or single parents will also be improved. The number of Child Caregivers who look after kids from households with infants and elementary school students will be more than doubled (from 3,000 to 8,000) by 2022, and the Open Childcare Rooms (shared nursing centers), which are community spaces for childcare that can be used be parents, infants, and children, will see a tenfold increase (from 40 to more than 450 locations). For parents who work nights or weekends the Basic Extended Childcare Centers, which babysit children during the night and on weekends, will be increased from the current nine locations to fifty locations over the course of the year.
These projects will create spaces for children, who go to and from after school academies with nowhere else to stay, to spend time with friends and rest while also offering space and services that allow working parents to place their children under care without worry. These projects are aimed at creating a system of universal care for parents so that they can concentrate on work and life without worrying about childcare.
Furthermore, the Whole Village Childcare Conference, participated in by the city, district, and education offices and the neighborhood Dolbom institutions and groups, will be organized and operated by Seoul, with each district, to perform its role as a governing body which links and regulates Dolbom resources for each neighborhood.