Taipei, May 28 (CNA) An alliance of 110 academics and educators petitioned lawmakers Friday to speed up the passage of a long-stalled child care and education bill to improve the welfare of children.
According to the group, the issue of integrating day care and kindergarten caught the attention of the government as early as 1997 when Vincent Siew -- currently the vice president -- was the premier.
Although President Ma Ying-jeou also promised to push for the policy during his presidential campaign, the promise has yet to be honored, the group said.
The activists also insisted that the future child care and education law should cover all children up to 12 years of age, expressing opposition to a version of the bill that would cover only those aged 2-6.
The appeal won the support of ruling Kuomintang legislators Huang Chih-hsiung and Chiang Yi-hsiung as well as the opposition Democratic Progressive Party's Chen Chieh-ju, Kuan Bi-ling, Chen Ying and Liu Chien-kuo.
Chen Chieh-ju agreed that the coverage of the law should be broadened to reach children up to 12 years old and address not only the issues of day care-kindergarten integration but also after school child programs for elementary students.
Kuan, who is a mother of two girls, described parenthood as a mixture of happiness and hardship and promised to facilitate the enactment of the law.
Chiang, meanwhile, said he will help the alliance communicate the issue with other ruling party lawmakers.
(By Su Lung-chi and Y.F. Low)