CHILDCARE FACILITIES AS A COMPONENT OF FAMILY POLICY IN A BIG CITIES
Keywords:family policy, childcare, big cities, fertility, Ukraine
Finding a balance between employment and family life today is a significant challenge for families with children and, therefore, one of the main issues of family policy, especially relevant for big cities. The availability of quality childcare, especially for children under three years of age, is crucial for parents’ participation in the labor market, reduces the risk of poverty for families with children and has a positive impact on fertility.
This work is based on the idea of the special importance of social services for childcare in modern cities (especially, big cities) in the context of similar fertility trends in urban areas of Ukraine and other European countries. The purpose of this publication is to analyze social services for childcare in developed countries and Ukraine, identify major development problems and find ways to improve family policy in Ukraine at the level of big cities by studying the development of preschools in other countries and cities.
The coverage of children with preschool education and care in Ukraine is significantly lower than in most European countries, especially for children under two years of age, where there is no noticeable growth trend. In big cities of Ukraine, against the background of relatively low coverage, the problem of overloaded preschools remains acute. The current problems, especially acute in big cities, are the low level of services, inconvenience for parents and low staff salaries.
Useful experiences of family policy development in big cities of developed countries include: assistance in increasing the number of available places in preschools and childcare facilities (in particular, for children under three years of age), targeted financial support or reducing the tax burden for families with children using childcare services, wider support for vulnerable groups of families with children, development of individual childcare. It is important to implement complex family policy that combines the development of preschools with other tools to provide material support and promote employment for parents, as well as to promote practical gender equality and overcome the “double burden” for working mothers.
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