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Operation Strategies for Local Government-School Cooperation Care in Seoul

Hyesook LeeㆍYoungjoo Lee

Recently, the government has been piloting the ‘local government-school cooperative care project (a.k.a. school care center)’, a programme that commenced in September 2021, as one of the implementation plans of the ‘All daycare system establishment and operation’. The school care center is a project through which the local government provides after-school care for elementary students by using school classrooms. For the 2021 school care center pilot project, 48 rooms in 18 schools including Jung-gu in Seoul, Goyang, Seongnam, Suwon, Hanam, Osan in Gyeonggi-do, Busan, and Nonsan in Chungnam are being operated. Although the school care center programme is expected to respond to parents’ demands for in-school care of school-aged children and expand the supply of insufficient care, local governments and schools participation is low due to problems such as the conversion of care workers to employment or the responsibility for safety in schools.

Therefore, this study intends to examine how the school care center pilot project is currently operating and identify the issues in the pilot operation process. If the Seoul Metropolitan Government proceeds with the school care center project in the future, it will present an overall operation strategy on how to prepare and operate a care model that cooperates with schools. To this end, a survey was conducted on the perceptions and demands of the school care center operation for parents of elementary school students, and a Delphi survey was conducted twice to find the direction and implementation plan for the school care center operation for experts. In addition, field surveys and FGIs were conducted to capture the voices of the public regarding the operation status of school care centers and improvement plans for school care officials. Based on these results, we proposed the Seoul Metropolitan government’s school care center operation strategy among other policy suggestions.