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Secretary for Labour & Welfare Matthew Cheung says the Government will promote more flexible neighbourhood mutual-help daytime childcare services, including supervised child-minding, in high-demand districts.
Mr Cheung today told lawmakers the Financial Secretary proposed funding of $45 million over the next three years to strengthen day-care services and promote more flexible childcare services.
The Government will use non-government or district organisations' premises to provide childcare services. The operating hours of these services will be more flexible than the regular ones, and can cover evenings, weekends and holidays. Fees can be waived for families in financial difficulty.
On the proposal to provide 24-hour childcare services he said leaving children for long hours may not be in their best interest.
Parents unable to care for their children for an extended period should approach social workers to form a comprehensive childcare plan, including different types of residential services.
Regarding creche services for children under two, Mr Cheung said more than 1,510 subsidised or private full-day and half-day places are available across the city. These places are not yet fully utilised.
"In planning its services, the Social Welfare Department will consider introducing different forms of child care services targeting children of different age groups."