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  • Seoul to Inject 1.7 Billion Won in Helping Daycare Centers to Prevent Educational Vacuum

  • Press Releases SMG 219
    • SMG is offering emergency support for daycare centers struggling to survive amid shutdown under level 4 social distancing
    • The city is providing financial aid to infant classes of 2,455 private and family child care centers facing difficulty in retaining their employees due to the reduced number of enrolled children
    • 218 daycare centers dedicated to foreign kids, which have been excluded from government benefits, also receive the funding

    SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, August 18, 2021 – Currently, many private daycares and family child care homes (centers typically built into an apartment) are having trouble keeping lights on due to shutdown and transition into the Emergency Child Care program. For two months, from July to August, the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) gives KRW 1.74 billion of emergency funding to private centers and care homes within the capital.

    Those who are eligible for the emergency funding are private daycare centers and child care homes struggling to retain their employees due to reduced number of enrolled children, and daycares (national, public, and private centers as well as care homes) for foreign children that have been excluded from government support.

    First, unlike national and public centers, private and family centers depend solely on tuition fees to provide wages to their teachers and pay for operation expenses. Notably, care centers that run classes for infants (kids up to two years old) were hit hard by the pandemic while they were already struggling with the constantly declining birthrate.

    The SMG will inject KRW 1.34 billion of additional emergency funds to support the operation of 2,455 private and family child care centers running infant classes. Seoul has already provided KRW 4.95 billion to 2,497 private and family daycares in March and April. This has contributed to helping out care centers with toddler classes, which showed a high rate of business closures.

    For stable employment of nursery teachers of care centers for foreign kids, the SMG also supports KRW 400 million. While Korean kids receive child care benefits from the government, foreign kids are not eligible for such support.

    Thus, daycare centers with a high proportion of foreign children in Yeongdeungpo or Guro district, for example, are in trouble as they cannot secure enough tuition fees in time.

    Seoul said it would support KRW 105,000 for each infant and KRW 170,000 for each toddler of 218 private and family child care centers whose number of foreign kids exceeds 10% of the total enrolled kids. The financial aid will be used to retain nursery teachers of the centers.

    Meanwhile, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s shutdown order on care centers in the metropolitan area, 5,119 national, public, private, and family daycares are temporarily closed. But care centers are providing emergency child care services to single-parent or dual-earner households.

    Kim Seon-soon, Deputy Mayor for Women & Family Policy Affairs, explained, “This measure offers ‘pincette-like’ tailored support to daycares running classes for infants and foreign kids. The goal of this support is to help nursery teachers focus on their duties, and daycare centers provide regular child care services.”