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Will excessive training sessions doom childcare centers?

Will excessive training sessions doom childcare centers?

Posted January. 17, 2013 05:24,   


The director of a childcare center in Seoul’s Gangbuk district said on Wednesday she was away from the center more than 20 times last year because of mandatory training sessions. She attended classes on childcare center principles given by the Health and Welfare Ministry before taking a similar course from the Seoul city government.

“There are many training courses that are similar in content but are offered repeatedly every year, including those on food hygiene and traffic safety, “she said.

Directors and teachers from all types of childcare centers are complaining about too many training sessions that they must take. Directors say they fear that their complaints sound as if they are negligent or dislike the training, but add that too much training means they can hardly handle their jobs.

Childcare center teachers are required to take many training sessions, and the center must also give more classes to their teachers. Provisions in new bills put forward by the National Assembly whenever major legal incidents with massive social ramifications occur routinely have been added, including lessons that centers should provide or training and education required of staff. So the burden on teachers and staff in the field is almost impossible to handle.

Kim Ae-ri, head of Woorim Childcare Center in Seoul’s Eunpyeong district, said, “Since teachers have to undergo so many different training courses, we`ve created a checklist.”According to a survey by the Ombudsman Office for Small and Medium Businesses, obligatory training for childcare center staff is 15 courses spanning a combined 125 hours per year. Many other courses are not included in such training but staff must take them, too. They include sessions demanded by municipal or provincial governments or those that earn childcare centers extra points in their evaluations when they submit certificates of completion to authorities.

According to the ombudsman office, staff in charge of meals at a childcare center must take training targeting officials in charge of food hygiene and management. Apart from these, cooks must get specialized training from the Korea Cooks Association and nutritionists also need training from the Korea Food Industry Association. The tuition must be paid by childcare centers. The head of a childcare center said, “I suspect that various associations consider childcare centers their income source and institute such rules by lobbying the National Assembly.”

Other complaints include the limited number of days for undergoing training and the remote locations of training centers. When training is not a one-day session and requires several days to finish, a center needs a qualified substitute teacher, which is hardly easy. Another center director said, “Accidents big or small often occur in such a situation,” adding, “I`m not sure if taking a lesson as a formality is more important than properly caring for children.”