Child care practices shift to centers

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Child care practices shift to centers

Nearly seven of 10 working couples left their children at day care centers or kindergartens at some time last year, compared to four in 10 who did so in 2011. However, the average child care cost decreased from 610,000 won ($542.78) per month to 480,000 won year-on-year, according to the Job Korea Web portal.

Job Korea surveyed 489 dual-income professionals with infants or young children from April 1-12.

A sweeping 68.3 percent said they send their young kids to day care centers or kindergartens, while 27 percent get help from their parents.

Last year, the survey found that 41.2 percent sent their children to childcare institutions in 2012 and 39.8 percent used their parents.

The decrease in the monthly cost of childcare indicates that it cost less to send their children to child care institutions than having parents look after the kids. According to the survey, it cost an average of 420,000 won per month for childcare centers and 600,000 won for parental care.

Part-time child care costs averaged 230,000 won and it cost an average of 870,000 won for private in-home care.

However, in the case of child care institutions, apart from government funding in accordance with the child’s age, working parents pay additional fees for special activities, such as cultural events.

Meanwhile, respondents indicated they gather information about child care and make decisions based on a variety of sources: 66.5 percent use the Internet, 45.6 percent ask relatives or friends and 35.8 percent read books or parenting magazines.

By Kim Jung-yoon [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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