The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has opened the 100th Seoul Kium daycare center as part of the city’s efforts to provide after-school and school-break daycare services to elementary school children of double-income or single-parent households. It has been two years and five months since the opening of the first center for pilot operation in June 2018.
This year, in particular, Seoul Kium has become a solution for emergency care during the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic. All Seoul Kium centers open in the morning and provide emergency care service for children without caregivers since their parents are at work and schools are shut down. Some centers are providing technical support to children to take online classes as well as meal support for hot lunch.
As parents who have concerns about caring for their children after the COVID-19 outbreak get to be informed of these centers, the enrollment rate surged from 68% at the end of the last year to 90% (as of the end of October 2020).
Each center is also evolving into a local foothold for childcare services as they provide a variety of new programs associated with local communities.
The SMG has the goal of establishing a total of 400 Seoul Kium daycare centers within 10-minute walking distances from residential areas and schools by 2022.
Currently, the SMG has decided on 197 centers in 25 autonomous districts, among which 100 centers are in operation, including the 100th Seoul Kium daycare center.