A Decade to Enjoy a Great Pregnancy 3.0 – Deputy Mayor: Taipei Ranked 1st in the Country

The Enjoy a Great Pregnancy 3.0 – Let’s Raise Our Children Together achievement presentation Deputy Mayor Tsai Ping-Kun hosted the Enjoy a Great Pregnancy 3.0 – Let’s Raise Our Children Together achievement presentation on January 6.

Tsai commented that the accomplishments of Enjoy a Great Pregnancy over the last decade can be seen through the number of births in Taiwan and Taipei City. In 2001, 260,000 people were born, with 26,000 born in Taipei; from 2001 to 2009, Taipei City has consistently contributed approximately 10% of the childbirths in the country. The most noticeable decline in the number of births occurred in 2010 (160,000 births nationally and 18,000 in Taipei), so the Enjoy a Great Pregnancy campaign was launched. The effectiveness of the policy can be determined by examining the numbers.

The deputy mayor pointed out that according to the latest statistics, 21,468 births in Taipei City in 2019 has finally reached the specified target thanks to everyone’s efforts. Taipei City has not only made the necessary preparations to create a sound environment for Enjoy a Great Pregnancy, but the city also boasts the most comprehensive social cartograph in the country. Firstly, Taipei offers the most complete subsidies to alleviate the parents’ burden, subsidizing daycare (0-2 years old or even 3); secondly, Taipei has the largest number of public infant daycare centers in Taiwan that are dispersed throughout different communities; thirdly, there are many not-for-profit kindergartens that offer the same quality as public kindergartens; fourthly, public services are provided (73% for daycare and 53% for kindergarten). Mayor Ko Wen-je expects the public and quasi-public kindergartens to fall into place within the next 3 years, and the Department of Education is also striving towards this goal.

As for establishing sound subsidies for children aged 0-5, Tsai reiterated that the concept of Let’s Raise Our Children Together will be applied, with Taipei City Government paying at least half of the expenses. With regards to daycare, major public daycares will cost NT$11,000, but the parents only have to pay NT$5,500; for public infant daycare centers, parents only have to pay NT$4,500 out of the required NT$14,500; for in-home babysitters, parents only need to pay NT$8,000 out of NT$18,000; quasi-public kindergartens cost NT$22,000, but the parents only have to pay NT$12,000. The aforementioned policy applies to the firstborn child, for the second and third-born child, a further NT$2,000 and NT$1,000 will be deducted. As far as education is concerned, public kindergarten, not-for-profit kindergarten, and quasi-public kindergarten cost NT$2,500, NT$3,500, and NT$4,500 respectively. Children attending private kindergartens will receive a subsidy of NT$13,660 per semester.

Furthermore, Tsai pointed out one of Taipei City’s innovative policies include extending the age of daycare to 3 years old since September 1 last year, and education was extended to 2 years old. The central government saw the benefits of the policy and followed suit this year; this suggests that Taipei City is always considering the parents’ needs by establishing public infant daycare centers within the local communities. On average, 4 daycare staff take care of 12 students, making the policy extremely popular. Among 80 locations throughout the country, Taipei City has already established 53, and the figure is expected to increase to 68 and 75 in 2021 and 2024. A total of 37 not-for-profit kindergartens have been created across 12 administrative districts to serve more than 4,000 students. The number is expected to rise to 60 not-for-profit kindergartens 3 years from now. Quasi-public kindergartens will be introduced to every district along with 749 classes in 153 public kindergartens and 186 classes in 37 not-for-profit kindergartens, servicing 24,903 people. If the 90 quasi-public kindergartens are also included, an additional 6,264 people will be able to enjoy the service, bringing the combined number to 31,167 people. The city government does not only offer subsidies, but it also endeavors to create a better environment with improved quality.

Deputy Mayor Tsai also mentioned before the function and during the media interview after the function that low fertility rate is an important issue in Taiwan because the number of births continues to decline. Since the Enjoy a Great Pregnancy campaign was implemented, the number has exhibited a growth rate of 12-13% over the last decade. The city government is prepared to subsidize daycare and education in order to mitigate the parents’ financial burden. With regards to daycare, the city government is subsidizing half of the major public daycare, public infant daycare center, babysitter, and private daycare expenses; in terms of education, parents only have to pay NT$2,500, NT$3,500 and NT$4,500 for the public, not-for-profit, and quasi-public kindergartens. Taipei City boasts of the highest number of quasi-public kindergartens in Taiwan. Furthermore, the city government is providing NT$13,660 subsidy for private kindergartens. As far as efforts in reducing the parents’ burden, Taipei City’s statistics are always ahead of other municipalities.

In addition, Tsai commented that the daycare map released today includes all the major public daycares, public infant daycare centers, babysitters, daycares, and kindergartens in Taipei City, allowing the parents to find the ones that can suit their needs effortlessly. Simply by entering their desired criteria, they will be able to access public information. As a result, the parents will appreciate the convenience of the service as it enables them to locate the most adequate venue and provide their children with the best level of care.