Taipei deliberates on public nanny service

Taipei deliberates on public nanny service
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-Je, who promised public nanny service in his mayoral election pledge.

TAIPEI - The Taipei City Department of Social Welfare yesterday said that after conducting research and taking part in discussions with people from various fields, the department will deliberate on whether to establish a trial run to aid Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je in fulfilling his public nanny service election pledge.

Previously, Ko had proposed the policy even before the election. The mayor had stated that he is against the institutionalized nature of the nation's daycare policy, as well as the kind of regulations that simply force the general public to spend their own money and figure out a solution for their babysitting difficulties.

Ko had also said that the idea to establish public daycare centres like those in New Taipei City is a long-term remedy that does not meet the urgency of the situation in Taipei.

As such, Taipei ought to adopt the plan of hiring family and community nannies in the interim.

If children are raised in an institutionalized environment at a young age, the mayor had said, it will deprive them of the possibility of intimate interaction.

As such an environment is not beneficial for the character development of a child, the government ought to train, license, manage and deploy public nannies in communities to be hired by individual families to create the healthy intimate bond.

Ko's idea is not unlike the election platform of former Premier Yu Shyi-kun during his campaign for New Taipei City mayor in 2014.

To try and fulfil Ko's platform, the Taipei Department of Social Welfare has conducted research and held various discussion panels with different groups to create a preliminary plan for the nanny-based service.

The current plan dictates that three nannies would babysit up to ten babies in a local government approved community daycare. Including local government grants, parents would only have to pay between NT$8,000 (S$346) and NT$10,000 to enroll their kids at a quality daycare centre.

Considering quality and space, the department also said that the preliminary plan is to first conduct trial runs of the policy in community centres and perhaps schools.

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