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More child care support available for families [KR]

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Seung-kwon, Kim
Publication Date: 
17 Feb 2004

See text below.


South Korean society has undergone a rapid demographic transition. From the beginning of the 1960s, socioeconomic development and implementation of national family planning programs brought about a great shift in the national population. Although past fertility policies intended to cut back birthrates, recent population policies have sought to increase and stabilize the drastically decreased birthrate.

The declining birthrate is mainly due to the higher marriage age and growth in the unmarried population. Additionally, the burden of child care and sociopolitical barriers for women to balance work and family life cause the low birthrate.

Emphasizing the recovery of fertility, explicit policies in response to low fertility include stabilization of national economic and employment, reduction of irregular labor force participation and decrease in housing expenditure. These attempts surely support family formation among the unmarried population. In addition, there is high demand for policies that diminish childbearing costs. A multitude of national policies need to strengthen social support systems for child care and decrease household expenses for private education. Specifically, a series of laws and policies would be considered such as provision for child care subsidy, reinforcement of child protection system, normalization of public education, tax exemption for child are cost, provision of high quality child care services and the amplification of maternity leave benefits.

- reprinted from Korea Times