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30% of childcare spaces in Ningbo are vacant

Childcare support helps alleviate the worries of parents. Childcare for infants and young children under the age of 3 is becoming a necessity for many young parents in the workplace.

According to statistics from the Ningbo Municipal Health Commission, as of the end of 2023, childcare service institutions registered and managed by the health department in the city can provide more than 40000 childcare facilities, with a utilization rate of nearly 70%.

"Although there is a demand, the enthusiasm of parents to participate is not high." An industry insider admitted that society lacks awareness of the importance of scientific parenting and the scientific nature of childcare services provided by childcare institutions. Many people still prefer to be taken care of by grandparents or nannies; Even though it is known that early scientific parenting and collective life are beneficial for the growth of infants and young children, there is no action taken due to the lack of significant results in the short term.

It is learned that currently there are two types of families choosing childcare institutions: one is that parents have to work, and the elderly at home are too old to help take care of their children, or they believe that their way of childcare is not scientific; The second is that the child is about to start kindergarten, so sending them to the daycare half a year in advance will give the child a buffering. Therefore, the popular spring classes and the light autumn classes have become the norm for enrollment in kindergartens. It is learned that currently there are less than 2000 infants and young children under the age of 2 in Ningbo who are enrolled in daycare.

"The source of students is unstable, but the various costs of opening classes are quite high, and the pressure on institutional operation is even greater." The person in charge of a private daycare kindergarten informed that this spring semester, the kindergarten admitted 60 young children and opened 3 classes, and the income and expenditure were still balanced. However, in the second half of the year, if the enrollment situation is not good, in addition to the venue rent, they will also have to bear the expenses of various personnel such as caregivers, chefs, and cleaners, which is likely to exceed their income.

The high pressure is not only reflected in the operation of childcare institutions, but also in the price expectations of some parents for childcare delivery. Mr. Chen, who lives in Ningbo, has two children. After the birth of her youngest daughter, her wife resigned to take care of her at home. Seeing her daughter grow older, she decided to go out and find a job to support her family. "Upon inquiry, I found out that the monthly fee for childcare in the surrounding area is 2100 yuan. Although it is already an inclusive price, it still puts a bit of pressure on me, including food expenses and expenses for toys, clothes, and medical treatment. After all, the family's living expenses and rent is a big cost." Mr. Chen said that they plan to send their daughter back to their hometown in Anhui and pick her up when they start kindergarten.

Apart from the high cost, some parents are hesitant about daycare. Affected by online reports of child abuse, some parents are concerned about the safety of their children in the daycare institutions.

How to truly make parents feel the value of childcare, achieve peace of mind, and ensure the healthy and stable operation of childcare institutions is the biggest challenge for the industry at present. Experts and practitioners believe that communities, hospitals, schools, and childcare institutions should form a community to increase service supply and improve service quality; All relevant departments should also work together to establish a normalized regulatory system.

Is it suitable to enter daycare before the age of 3? Many parents doubt it. Experts believe that the age range of 0-3 is an important period for a person's lifelong growth. During this period, young children's brains develop very fast and have the strongest plasticity, so providing high-quality scientific care is crucial. Traditional ancestral upbringing, due to reduced opportunities for children to interact with peers and excessive protective behaviors such as being often held, can affect the development of children's language and motor abilities, which are closely related to brain development.

A few days ago, Lv Lanqiu, the director of the Children's Health Department at Ningbo University Affiliated Women and Children's Hospital, received a child who was nearly two years old and still couldn't speak. At her suggestion, the mother sent the baby to a daycare. To her delight, three weeks later, the baby started learning to speak.

"Under the childcare model of collective life, young children can learn a lot from their peers. In other words, collective life creates opportunities for imitation and learning. It not only helps young children develop good living habits and fully unleash their potential, but also enhances their social and emotional management abilities, laying a solid foundation for healthy growth throughout their lives." said Lv Lanqiu

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