The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) will offer a two-month emergency assistance of KRW 1.74 billion from July to August to private and family-run childcare centers in Seoul that are experiencing difficulties in regular operations due to closures and switch to emergency childcare in accordance with level 4 social distancing.
The assistance will be given to private and family-run childcare centers, including national, public, private and family-run centers attended by international children in the blind spot of government funding, that are experiencing hardships with teacher employment retention due to the decrease in resources.
A total of KRW 1.34 billion in emergency funds will be given as a subsidy for operational costs to 2,455 private and family-run childcare centers that offer care for infants (ages 0 to 2). Unlike national and public childcare centers that receive partial personnel expenses from the community, private and family-run childcare centers rely on childcare tuition for teachers’ salaries and operational expenses. Hence, in the case that the number of attending children decreases, the retention of hired teachers becomes difficult and can lead to the inability to offer childcare services. With the decreasing birth rate and the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, childcare centers that provide infant care are especially experiencing difficulties due to the decrease in number of attending children.
KRW 400 million will be given to support the stable employment of teachers at childcare centers attended by international children. While Korean children receive childcare funding by the government, which includes tuition paid to childcare centers even if a child does not attend the childcare center due to COVID-19, international children are excluded from this government assistance and is required to pay full tuition. In the case of childcare centers with high attendance by international children, such as those in Yeongdeungpo and Guro, they struggle with operation due to the inability to pay teachers in the case that children do not attend due to COVID-19.
The SMG will provide customized assistance to childcare centers that offer infant care and are in danger of closing down as well as to childcare centers with high attendance by international children who are in the blind spot of government funding to allow teachers to devote themselves to childcare and for childcare centers to provide regular childcare services to attending children.