Starting next year, the government will offer up to 0.7 million in parental allowance each month to households raising infants aged 0 and 1. It will also build 500 new public childcare facilities each year and increase part-time childcare service in phases. These new policies reflect the government’s intention to expand childcare support to address Korea’s birth rate, the lowest in the world (0.81).
The Ministry of Public Health and Welfare determined the 4th Mid-long term Childcare Framework (2023-2027) on Tuesday after deliberation by the Central Childcare Policy Commission. Based on the plan, households with children aged zero to 11 months will receive 700,000 won and 350,000 won for children aged 12 to 23 months. The allowance will increase to 1 million and 500,000 won, respectively, starting in 2024. Currently, a childcare allowance of 300,000 won is given to infants who do not attend childcare facilities, and 499,000 won to infants that attend childcare.
According to the ministry, the number of infants eligible to receive parent allowance is 323,000, with those aged zero at 238,000 and one at 85,000. The budget allocated to parent allowance amounted to 2.36 trillion won.
The government will expand childcare support for parents who cannot take care of their children at home while strengthening evaluation standards for childcare facilities. There will be a special focus on expanding the number of public childcare facilities parents prefer. The government aims to increase public childcare facilities’ rate from 37% to 50% by 2027.
“We will be focusing on providing better childrearing and childcare support as it will be key to addressing needs in a society with low birth dates,” said Vice Minister Lee Ki-il of Public Health and Welfare.