LCQ18: Child care services
Regarding child care services, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the respective numbers and year-on-year rates of increase, in 2015 and 2016, of places for various types of publicly-subsidised child care services for children aged 2 or below;
(2) as the Government has indicated in the Policy Agenda of this year's Policy Address that it will provide, in the 2018-2019 financial year, about 100 additional aided long full-day child care service places for children aged below 3, what plans the Government has in place in the coming five years in respect of provision of full-day child care services for children aged below 3; and
(3) as the Government indicated in the Policy Agenda of the 2015 Policy Address that it would commission a consultancy study in 2015-2016 to advise on the long-term development of child care services, of the details (including the name(s) of the consultant(s), scope of the study and work schedule) and the latest progress of the study, as well as the date of publication of the study report?
My reply to the three parts of the question raised by the Dr Hon Fernando Cheung is as follows:
(1) To assist parents who cannot take care of their children temporarily because of work or other reasons, the Social Welfare Department (SWD) has all along been subsidising non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to provide a variety of child care services, including aided standalone child care centres (CCCs) and aided CCCs attached to kindergartens (KGs) for children aged below 3, occasional child care service (OCCS) and extended hours service (EHS) for children aged below 6, as well as the Neighbourhood Support Child Care Project (NSCCP) for children aged below 9, etc. The numbers of places and the rates of increase of the various types of subsidised services as mentioned above in the past two years are set out in Annex.
(2) Currently, various types of child care services provide a total of about 29 500 places, among which, standalone CCCs and CCCs attached to KGs subsidised by the Government provide about 7 000 aided places for children aged below 3. In 2015-16, the overall enrolment rate of various types of child care services was 77 per cent.
SWD will continue monitoring the demand for various types of child care services, and will plan for the additional provision of CCCs in districts with high demand, including the planned provision of about 100 additional aided long full-day child care places for children aged below 3 in 2018-19.
(3) In December 2016, SWD commissioned the Department of Social Work and Social Administration of the University of Hong Kong to conduct a "Consultancy Study on the Long-term Development of Child Care Services" (the Study). The Study will take stock of the existing child care services in Hong Kong, and make reference to the experiences in providing child care services in other places. It will also conduct in-depth analyses on different aspects of child care services, such as objectives, contents, targets, financing modes, service models, demand and supply situation, facility planning, manpower planning and training, and will make recommendations on the long-term development of the services. It is expected that the Study will take at least one year to complete.
Ends/Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Issued at HKT 14:27
Issued at HKT 14:27