As explained by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong, the government is sticking to the old ratio because it believes there are not enough qualified childcare workers available for hire. But if that is the case, why not formulate a timetable for improvement?
In any case, given that there are over 10 tertiary institutions providing early childhood education programmes, I cannot see any difficulty in meeting this human resource demand.
The monthly median income of a three-person household is HK$34,400, while the monthly fee for a place in a childcare centre ranges from HK$4,385 to HK$6,500. A slight reduction in monthly fees won’t help much. Many potential service users will still find such services unaffordable.
In other words, the so-called “improvement” of childcare services will fail on two counts: it won’t be able to effectively facilitate child development, or to alleviate the financial burden of parents.
K.Y. Mak, 0-3 Child Care Centre Network