Mayor Ko Wen-je attended the opening ceremony for the Yibao Star of Neihu Technology Park Childcare Center on January 11.
During his address, Ko noted that for young working parents, one of the biggest challenges is how to take care of their kids. He pointed out that the new Yibao Childcare Center offers 69 openings for children ages 2 or younger and invites enterprises in the neighborhood to hop aboard as partner businesses. Their support will help realize the vision of small and medium-sized companies working together to operate and share childcare resources.
The mayor remarked that Neihu Technology Park is one of the major centers of Taiwan’s Technology Industry. It is also the administrative district with the fastest-growing population. The average age of Neihu District residents is among the youngest in the city; it is also the district with the largest number of newborns in Taipei City.
On the issue of public nurseries and kindergartens, Ko recalled that in the past, children from disadvantage families are given the priority during admissions. With limited openings nowadays, he believes that it is better to increase the supply in the face of rising demand. The city government began tackling the problem by setting up a childcare center inside city hall. Recently, it expanded the approach to Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation, helping the company establish a childcare center for its workers.
However, there are several obstacles when seeking to expand the policy to private businesses. While there is more demand than supply of childcare at large-scale institutions such as city hall or TRTC, this is not the case for small and medium-sized companies. That is why it is not feasible for a single small or medium-sized business to form its own childcare facility.
At the end of his speech, Ko praised Epoque Corporation for setting aside space in its building and worked with Yibao Childcare to set up a semi-public childcare center. Hopefully, the service-acquisition model will help to encourage more companies to become involved in jointly operating childcare facilities.