As new subsidies come into effect next month under the Executive Yuan’s childcare policy, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday told the Taipei City Council that childcare subsidies currently offered to city residents would not be reduced during his term as mayor.
The Executive Yuan announced last week that starting next month, parents could receive a monthly subsidy of NT$6,000 for each child aged two and under that was under the care of semi-public preschools or contracted babysitters.
“I’m going to make a political statement: No matter how the central government changes its policy, the Taipei City Government — at least during my term — will ensure that the childcare subsidy given to parents with children aged zero to six will not fall below the current level,” Ko told councilors yesterday morning.
The city government was still discussing whether implementing the policy would conflict with the national policy, he said, but added that the crucial principle was that Taipei parents would be guaranteed not to pay more.
Taiwan’s low birthrate is a persistent national problem, but it is less significant in Taipei than elsewhere, because the city’s population grows through urbanization, Ko said.
Taipei also has better welfare policies that attract many parents to register their household in the city, he added.
Based on the Taipei City Self-Government Ordinance for Childcare Allowance (台北市育兒津貼發給自治條例), city residents can receive a monthly childcare allowance of NT$2,500 for having children aged five and under, but they cannot receive other government allowances at the same time. They must choose between the city allowance and the national subsidy.
Under the current policy, parents of children aged two and under can receive a NT$2,500 city allowance and a NT$3,000 national subsidy, as well as a NT$3,000 city subsidy for providing childcare through institutions or babysitters approved by the city government, giving them a total of NT$8,500, Taipei Department of Social Welfare Commissioner Hsu Li-min (許立民) said.
Institutions and babysitters approved by the city government should get approved as semi-public preschools or contracted babysitters under the new national policy, he said.
Under the new nation policy, parents with children aged two and under could receive a NT$6,000 national subsidy and a NT$4,000 subsidy for providing childcare through semi-public preschools or contracted babysitters, giving them a total of NT$10,000, Hsu said, adding that the monetary burden of childcare would not increase.
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