The reasons for rapidly declining birthrates in Taiwan include changing values toward marriage and children, the heavy economic burdens of raising children, and a shortage of public or subsidized child care. The Ministry of Health and Welfare has addressed these issues with an August 2018 policy providing quasi-public childcare services and broader parental subsidies nationwide.
(1) Expanding childcare allowance
The parental subsidy is available to a parent who pays the individual income tax rate under 20% and has not received any subsidy for parental leave without pay or public or quasi-public nursery service as of the application date. Qualified parents with documentation can apply at the township, city or district office of the child's residence area. The monthly subsidy is NT$ 2,500-5,000 per child.
To encourage higher birthrates, an extra monthly parental subsidy of NT$ 1,000 per child is offered families who have three or more children. This demonstrates that the government is willing to share the child-care liability with families. The number benefited rose to 120,000 individuals.
(2) Public Child-care Services
Plans call for an annual increase of 80 child-care facilities between 2018 and 2020, and an additional 100 facilities per year in 2021 and 2022, for a total of 440 new locations accommodating 5280 children. By the end of November 2018, 57 community public care homes had been completed, and total of 118 private baby-care centers had been established.
(3) Quasi-public Child-care Services
The government collaborates with child-care services agencies (child-care providers) and baby-care centers via signed agreements. The monthly child-care services cost of NT$ 6,000-10,000 is paid by the government based on the family's financial situation. These popular and accessible public child-care services are made affordable to the public to assist parents. The child-care providers and baby-care centers supply high-quality services in a regulatory climate that fosters stable profits and sustainable development.
(1) For those who have not yet received public or quasi-public services, applying for baby-care subsidies can reduce families' expenses.
(2) Public and quasi-public child-care for infants under two years of age reached 20.94% in 2022.
(3) These policies support more than 80,000 two-income families to work and raise children while also providing 160,000 jobs and creating more than 30,000 professional care opportunities for babies.
(4) Quasi-public child-care will be encouraged in cooperation with home-care workers and private child-care centers. The government and parents share expenses to increase provision of home care workers, private child-care centers and public care centers. Parents will have multiple child-care choices, with no need to wait for openings in public care centers.