Daycare facilities should adapt to second-child era
Wu Xiang, a Zhanjiang deputy to the second session of the 13th National People's Congress, calls for daycare services targeting kids below the age of three to be promoted throughout the country in the second-child era. [Photo/gdzjdaily.com.cn]
Daycare services targeting children below the age of three should be promoted throughout the country to address the concerns of couples who want to have a second child, said Wu Xiang, a Zhanjiang deputy to the second session of the 13th National People's Congress, in her interview with Zhanjiang Daily.
The universal second-child policy, which was adopted in 2016 amid a dwindling workforce and an aging population, has created a baby boom.
There are far too few daycare centers to meet the soaring demand nationwide, as working mothers have to go back to work after a six-month maternity leave. However, Chinese kindergartens only accept children aged three and up, and hiring a nanny is expensive.
The current quality of daycare facilities is also questionable, as there are no clear regulations on them, and they are usually run by private businesses or individuals.
To address the problem, Wu proposed integrating daycares with preschool education. Kindergarten training schools and vocational schools should establish relevant disciplines and offer tuition subsidies and living allowances to encourage more people to study infant care.
Kindergartens, enterprises, and public institutions can use any spare space for daycare centers, and offer full-day, half-day, and hourly services at a reasonable price. Industrial standards for facilities, sanitation, and personnel should be established to normalize operations and ensure their quality.