Beginning with 43 new nurseries in the latter half of this year, at least 95 public nurseries will be open in the city of Seoul by 2013. This development is expected to meet the demands of the 5,911 infants requiring childcare facilities who are still on waiting lists. In particular, 36 of the nurseries (38% of the total) will be established on land or with funds donated by individuals or groups such as corporations and religious institutions. This cooperative method of working is the first such project in the country.
To support the active contribution of corporations, groups and individuals who share the goal of increasing the number of childcare facilities, the city will ensure that the new nursery capacity will far exceed the original target. Some 68 facilities will be built where the capacity of existing public nurseries is insufficient, which is expected to help narrow regional imbalances. The remainder will be established in areas where demand for childcare is particularly high among large apartment complexes, or in underprivileged regions where the need for childcare facilities is extremely urgent.
This public nurseries expansion project will incorporate a variety of strategies including the use of existing buildings and public buildings or apartments, the purchase of old private nurseries, and the expansion of cooperation with private enterprises, thereby freeing the city of the need to obtain additional sites and enabling it to stay within budget. Following the expansion of nursery facilities during the first half of next year, Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to take over the management of private nurseries in large-scale apartment complexes, and make them public, during the second half of the year.