TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said Monday that in the future, the city will focus its effort on babysitting for 0-to-2-year-olds and childcare services for kids between 3 to 6 years old in a bid to encourage childbirth in the city.
During a speech at a press conference for the 2017 population policy promotion clip, the mayor noted that according to research, nearly 70% of single sons and daughters hope they have siblings. Therefore, the government is willing to offer young parents even more support.
The mayor said he realized that offering childbirth subsidy alone is actually not much help. The big problem lies with the heavy cost for raising and educating kids, he said.
Ko remarked that both Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg are the second-born child of their families. If their parents only had one kid, history would look rather different. Referring to his own children, Ko said he has two daughters and one son. He noticed that having siblings around makes their life more exciting, as opposed to being the only child in the family. Therefore, he encourages parents to have more kids if possible.
Regarding a question on whether the Department of Civil Affairs have plans to raise the subsidy for childcare for families with two children from NT$3,000 to NT$6,000, Ko said that the agency is looking into the possibility of raising monthly subsides for such families. He believes that more money will definitely help young parents. As for whether the city is considering expanding the number of public kindergartens, the mayor replied that such policy will require longer planning periods, so the city is considering the possibility of subsidizing kids attending private kindergartens starting next year.