The central government's quasi-public childcare policy was implemented on August 1 this year, and some parents have expressed concerns about whether the existing subsidies or privileges will be affected. Taichung City Education Bureau has responded by stating that in supporting the central government's policy, Mayor Shiow-yen Liu immediately increased the budget by NT$850 million to upgrade, improve, and add value to the existing childcare policy in Taichung City, thereby enhancing childcare subsidy. After the new policy has been implemented, the most favorable policy will be adopted, be it from the central government or Taichung City Hall, so as to offer Taichung citizens a comprehensive care package.
As for some parents' concern that childcare fees seem to have become more expensive after the central government's quasi-public childcare policy was adopted, the Education Bureau explained that in addition to the monthly quasi-public subsidy of NT$6,000 for children between the ages of 0 and 2, children aged between 2 and 6 who are going to quasi-public kindergartens in Taichung will still receive NT$3,000 subsidy per month, same as before. Taichung is the only municipality in Taiwan offering such subsidy. Originally, children aged between 2 and 4 and studying at private kindergartens were subsidized NT$15,000 per semester, but now they are able to collect childcare subsidy of NT$2,500 per month, equivalent to NT$15,000 per semester (6 month period), which also remains the same as before.
Additionally, the previous nursing policy in Taichung for pre-school children did not provide adequate subsidy for kindergarteners aged between 2 and 4, therefore the central government’s new system will be adopted in the future, providing NT$30,000 childcare subsidy every year. The existing one-stop childcare policy subsidizes the disadvantaged group up to NT$30,000 per person per year, something which is lacking in the central government’s new system. However, the city hall will continue to offer this subsidy to ensure the welfare of Taichung citizens.
According to the Education Bureau, after the central government's quasi-public childcare policy was implemented, childcare subsidies for children aged between 2 and 4 will be increased, where those in public kindergartens, nonprofit kindergartens, and quasi-public kindergartens pay at the most an additional NT$2,500, NT$3,500 and NT$4,500 per month respectively, and the balance will be funded by the government. For children from low to mid-income households, they can attend kindergartens for free; those aged between 2 and 4 who are not attending public, non-profit or quasi-public kindergartens will receive NT$2,500 childcare subsidy. The Education Bureau indicated that Taichung's childcare policy not only complements the central government's policy, but subsidies are also available for parents who decide to homeschool their children or send their children to kindergarten. In other words, the benefits have improved as more subsidies are offered to them. For subsidy-related details, please refer to Taichung City Hall's website (http://bit.ly/2JC2cdW), Taichung Quasi-Public System Section on Education Bureau's website (http://bit.ly/2Yfo58b) or Extended Childcare Subsidy section on Social Affairs Bureau's website (http://bit.ly/2K1iOfs).