By Shih Hsiu-chuan
Taipei, May 16 (CNA) The Cabinet on Wednesday introduced a proposal to expand the
coverage of child-rearing allowances to children between the ages of two and four years, as well as measures to help improve access to childcare facilities for preschool-age children at affordable rates, as Taiwan grapples with a declining birth rate.
The financial burden associated with raising a child is one of the many reasons for the nation’s low birth rate and warrants a higher proportion of the government expenditure, Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) said.
The government is looking to cap the expense of having a preschool-age child at a subsidized daycare center at NT$16,000 (US$532) per month, Minister Without Portfolio Lin Wan-i (林萬億) said at a press conference.
Lin said surveys indicate the affordable cost for daytime childcare is NT$8,000-NT$12,000, which accounts for 10-15 percent of average disposable income per household in Taiwan.