Combined early childhood education and care measures to ensure social cohesion

This chapter assesses the current early childhood education and care (ECEC) programmes in Korea. Korea should carefully consider the priorities among its ECEC policy goals: i) ensuring equity for children in disadvantaged families; ii) raising maternal labour force participation, as well as work-life balance, especially in a manner more equitable for women; iii) boosting the fertility rate, and iv) regarding ECEC as public responsibility. To meet these goals, Korea should first and foremost ease the financial burden on parents for having children and for meeting the associated education cost. Channelling more public spending is required. ECEC is crucial for improving the educational development of children, but its effects will depend on the quality of provision. Good quality and affordable ECEC services can influence parents’ decisions, such as whether to go back to work after starting a family or to have more children.

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