Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, currently in his last year in office, oversaw the opening of a new public nursery in Neihu District last week, gradually realizing the city government’s policy for establishing at least one public nursery in each Taipei district. The city government is expected to achieve its goal of having one public parent-child center in each district within the next six months. The 12 so-called public nurseries, however — run on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis — can only accommodate 500 infants, which is far below the mark for meeting the demand of Taipei’s 60,000 children who are two years of age or younger.
The new Neihu Parent-Child Center and Infant Care Center are located on the second floor of Gangqian MRT Station on the Wenhu MRT Line. The space covers approximately 353 ping (1,167m2), and includes a wooden construction block area, a parent-child arts and crafts area, a multifunctional classroom and a drawing corner. There will be regular parent-child cooking sessions, parenting classes, as well as music and body movement classes, all of which officially start soon.
Statistics show that Taipei’s population has more than 60,000 children two years of age or younger, and that the majority of them are looked after by parents or grandparents. More than 6,600 of the infants are looked after by caretakers, while 1,739 attend private day cares. The city’s 12 public BOT nurseries can accommodate a total of 500 infants, meaning that each nursery can only accept between 40 and 45 infants. A lottery system determines who gets in, making it very difficult to get accepted and the reason many parents complain about how hard and impossible it is to be selected.
1. multifunctional adj.
多功能的 (duo1 gong1 neng2 de5)
例: This multifunctional printer also serves as a fax machine.
2. parenting n.
(qin1 zhi2; dui4 zi2 nu3 de5 yang3 yu4)
例: The book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother presents a controversial account of strict parenting.
3. alarm n.
驚慌，恐懼，擔憂 (jing1 huang1; kong3 ju4; dan1 you1)
例: Danielle pulled back with a look of alarm in her eyes.
Tu Tzu-jung, a divisional chief at Taipei’s Department of Social Welfare, says that four new public nurseries will open in Taipei this year. The municipality’s thirteenth nursery is set to open next to Jingmei Elementary School, while locations for the other three have yet to be selected, she says, adding that the high number of newborns in Shilin, Beitou and Neihu districts and the lack of private day care resources in Datong and Wanhua districts put all of them within the realm of possibility.
Six of the city’s public BOT nurseries are located inside elementary schools in Xinyi, Zhongzheng, Nangang, Songshan, Daan and Wanhua districts respectively, a locale that is a cause for alarm among some parents. One mother surnamed Chen, with an eight-month-old infant at home, says that she is worried about her child contracting colds from students in the lower grades.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)