Childcare Support

Through the advocacy project on proposing a childcare support scheme for low-income families, we hope to unify grassroots women and push the government to shoulder more responsibilities in childcare service or even make a change in the policy. We would like to push forward with a childcare policy that can alleviate the childcare needs of the grassroot families and has gender sensitivity. We also want to encourage women in the community to discuss childcare support and career subsidy scheme, and actively promote it to community organizations, assorted parties and society.

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Insufficient supply of grassroots childcare

The lack of childcare service is a very serious social issue in Hong Kong, especially for grassroot families. Every year, there are around 60,000 newborns in Hong Kong, yet there are only 738 vacancies in the current subsidized independent children center. From the year 2011/12, their average usage rate has been above 99%, plus the long waiting list. The service has failed to meet the demand of society. Although the government has addressed the problem of the community childcare service in the policy addresses and budget speeches in recent years, the allocated resources were just not enough at all for over 100,000 children.

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Promote professionalization of "community nannies"

We suggest professionalizing the current community nannies and the government should provide relevant training, set up a nanny register and give them salaries no less than the minimum wage. We also recommend increasing the quotas for after school care programme in primary schools for kids aged 6-12 and fee-waiving quotas, and that the care service hours should be extended to 8 pm and include holidays, so that women do not have to give up on their jobs due to school holidays.

Increase of whole-day kindergarten quotas

Currently 70% of the kindergarten quotas are half-day, which makes many grassroots women hard to work away from homes and hinders them from participating in public affairs and personal development. The government should increase the whole-day kindergarten quotas to support women employment. We think kindergarten education should not focus merely on meeting educational needs, but it should also, from the perspectives of child development and career supports, cultivate children in an ideal environment and support the need and the role of the parents in child development. The government should recognize whole-day and long whole-day education's values in early kid development, family support and society in official documents, and bring whole-day and long whole-day education into basic subsidy.

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