Taipei is to establish public daycare centers for infants aged two years and under in each of the city’s 12 districts by next year as part of a drive to offer a safe environment for the children of overburdened parents, with four centers set to open in Wanhua (萬華), Datong (大同), Songshan (松山) and Beitou (北投) districts as early as September, the city’s Department of Social Welfare said.
Tu Tzu-jung (杜慈容), a divisional chief at the department, said each daycare center would accommodate up to 40 toddlers, with certified teachers and nursing staff stationed at the childcare facilities.
Monthly fees will be in the region of NT$10,000 per child, but with the city providing a child-care subsidy of NT$2,500 alongside other allowances, parents are likely to only have to foot between NT$4,500 and NT$5,000 of the bill.
The department chose to prioritize the opening of centers in Wanhua and Datong districts because there are currently no public or private daycare centers in the two urban areas and the need for infant support is urgent, Tu said.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said the public daycare center program, together with a birth subsidy plan, was aimed at easing the burden faced by parents, while also encouraging more young people to raise children in the capital.
“Taipei suffers from a low birth rate and opening public daycare centers is part of an effort to help parents in the city take care of their kids so they will be willing to raise children,” he said.
The number of children born in Taipei increased from 18,530 in 2010 to 25,000 last year after the city introduced a subsidy program that awards NT$20,000 to women in the city when they give birth, department statistics showed.
Taipei residents are eligible to apply for the daycare service, Tu said. The city will also allocate 10 percent of the childcare places for those on low incomes, she added.