HCM City childcare plan yields disappointing results
  • By Hoai Nam | | August 19, 2014 08:20 AM
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HCM City invested VND15 billion in a pilot childcare programme for children aged 6-18 months, but participation has been much lower than expected.

The plan was started in the 2014-2015 school year and operates in eight districts. It was aimed at improving the quality of childcare in the city and help workers employed in industrial parks.


Illustrative photo. Disappointing results for well-intentioned plan

They planned to expand the model to four other districts, which would cover 50% of districts in the metropolis in the 2015-2016 school year, and then expand it citywide in the 2016-2017 school year.

Currently the programme involves one or two state-funded preschools in each district. But, after careful planning, hiring of teachers and securing infrastructure, not many students showed up. It seems that many parents preferred to send their children to home-based daily childcare centres or back to their hometowns to be cared for by extended family.

Some of these facilities failed to attract any children.

Doan Thi Xuan Phuong, a representative from the HCM City Union of Women's Associations said the demand for childcare for children aged six months and over in the city is high, but because of the the lack of such facilities, many parents have grown accustomed to sending their children to their hometowns while they are young.

“I think part of the reason for this is that many parents working at industrial parks have to work overtime and on Saturdays and these childcare facilities do not coincide with their schedules,” Phuong said.

She added that many parents cannot afford to pay school fees. Many home-based daily childcare centres allow parents to pick their children up as late as 10pm and still provide the service on weekends at a low cost.

Nguyen Huu Danh, from the HCM City Association of Former Teachers said the plan is well-intended, but it is made difficult by a number of procedures. Parents who wish to participate have to submit several documents, including residency papers, which many are unable to produce because they are immigrants.

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