Public spending on early childhood care and education in Korea has rapidly increased since the late 2000s. In particular, government subsidy for child care, originally a selective benefit targeted to lower-income families, expanded over time to become a universal benefit. Starting from this year, all children under the age of 5 are eligible for free child care, regardless of their family income. Given that the size of public expenditure on early childhood care and education in Korea had been relatively small compared to other OECD countries, increased government support for young children, particularly the so-called "Free Child Care Policy," can be seen as an appropriate move. . Yet, there remains a wide debate on the effectiveness and sustainability of the policy over long term.
The main goal of increased government support for child care is to provide good quality child care at an affordable price. While the primary beneficiaries of the proposed policy are children, a well-designed policy can also have the additional benefit of promoting fertility level as well as female labor participation. Facing unprecedented low fertility level and relatively low female labor participation rate compared to other OECD countries, the Korean government aims to utilize child care policy as an important policy tool to promote both the fertility level and female labor participation rate. This study aims to investigate whether the current policy scheme is optimally designed to deliver its proposed goals and suggest possible policy recommendations.
The study is organized as follows. Section Ⅱ explains the rationale for government intervention for early childhood care and education and discusses several major issues stemming from the current free child care policy. Section Ⅲ examines child care policies in selected OECD countries with a special emphasis on the policy implication for the Korean case. Section Ⅵ illustrates the effectiveness of child care policy in promoting female labor participation, and Section Ⅴ examines the effectiveness of child care policy in raising fertility. Section Ⅵ focuses on the quality of child care and discusses the role that public sector can play in improving the quality of child care.
- 보육정책의 효과와 개선방향(A study on the effectiveness of child care policy in Korea)
보육정책의 효과와 개선방향(A study on the effectiveness of child care policy in Korea)
|Subject Country||South Korea(Asia and Pacific)|
|Subject||Social Development < Social Welfare|