Kindergarten subsidies are to be expanded as part of broader moves to shake up the structure of Taipei’s social welfare benefits, the Department of Education said yesterday.
The age limit for children receiving city subsidies to attend private kindergartens is to be lowered to four, Department of Education Chief Secretary Chen Shun-ho (陳順和) said.
In addition to encouraging childbirth, the new subsidies are intended to give parents an incentive to send their children to school earlier rather than staying at home with grandparents, he said.
The new subsidies would be available to all four-year-old children whose households are registered in Taipei, he said, adding that there were “technical issues” which had prevented the city government from attaching provisions excluding wealthy residents.
Under the new rules, four-year-olds attending private kindergartens would be eligible to receive a NT$2,543 (US$81) subsidy every semester. The city government also provides a subsidy of NT$5,543 every semester to five-year-old children who attend public kindergartens, but it does not intend to lower age requirements.
These kindergarten subsidies come on top of a biannual NT$15,000 subsidy provided by the Ministry of Education and city government for children aged between one and five.
Department of Education preschool division chief Shih Yan-ping (施燕萍) said the subsidy was directed toward children attending private kindergartens because they are considerably more expensive than public ones.
Provisions excluding wealthy city residents were not added because of the high administrative costs of having to review family eligibility, she said.
The department estimates that NT$60 million in new subsidies will be paid out every year.
Chen said that the funds would come through coordination with other departments.
The Chinese-language China Times yesterday reported that the new subsidy would be paid for by cutting annual Double Ninth Festival (重陽節) cash payments to the city’s elderly residents.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) on Wednesday said that city social welfare spending should be realigned to focus on young children at the expense of elderly residents.
It took director Chong Keat Aun (張吉安) nearly a decade to complete Snow in Midsummer (五月雪), a deft chronicle of Malaysia’s May 13 incident told through one woman’s search for her brother and father. Although only his second feature, it led the field at yesterday’s Golden Horse Awards with nine nominations. Chong said it had been a struggle to get people to share their memories of the intercommunal violence following the 1969 national election, known among the country’s ethnic Chinese community as “513.” “My father, for example, would shut the conversation down if my mother or grandma even mentioned the topic,” Chong said
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that a surge in respiratory illnesses in China has been caused by at least seven types of pathogens, and small children, elderly people and immunocompromised people should temporarily avoid unnecessary visits to China. The recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses in China is mainly in the north and among children, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said on Monday. Data released by the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday showed that among children aged one to four, the main pathogens were influenza viruses and rhinoviruses, while among children aged five to 14, the main pathogens
A new poll of Taiwanese voters found the top opposition candidate for president jumping past the ruling party’s hopeful into the lead position ahead of January’s election — the latest twist in a drama-filled race. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had an approval rating of 31.9 percent versus 29.2 percent for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed. The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), ranked third with 23.6 percent, according to the survey conducted
A New Taipei City hotpot restaurant could be fined after a rat dropped from the ceiling and landed on a customer’s plate last week, the New Taipei City Department of Health said yesterday after conducting an inspection. A woman recently posted on the “I am a Banciao resident” (我是板橋人) social media group saying that she had been eating with a friend at Chien Tu Shabu Shabu Hotpot Restaurant’s Shuangshi B branch in Banciao District (板橋). “While still eating, a big rat suddenly dropped down from the ceiling, landing on a plate next to a hotpot,” she said. “Later on, a member of