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A Study on the Analysis of School-Aged Child Care and its Implication of Living with COVID-19

Author: 
Hyesook Lee·JinYoung Moon

This study aimed to explore and analyze the care of school-age children living with COVID-19, and recommend childcare improvements. For the study, we analyzed the policy of the central government and the Seoul metropolitan government from 2019 to 2022. Furthermore we examined d the policy of major overseas countries in Canada, Denmark, and Japan. In May 2022, an online survey was conducted for 1,183 parents. The survey will compare 2021 and 2022 to identify the state of care for children living with COVID-19. In addition, focus group interviews conducts with care service agency staff and parents.

The main implications for the results of the survey are as follows. First, the difficulty of caring for children due to COVID-19 decreased in 2022 compared to 2021, but still, more than 40% of them are complicated, and the additional care costs increased. Second, although the proportion of children spending time alone (or with their siblings) has decreased compared to 2021, 13% of school-age children still spend time alone. More than one in 10 children spend time alone in situations that requiring care. This absence of care is generally among the low in-come and dual-income families in the northeast region. Given the diversity of circumstances, it is essential to prepare care supports in response to the infectious diseases crisis. Third, the survey showed that many parents wanted to improve the environment of care service institutions. It is also needed in the near distance to simplify the eligibility criteria so that anyone can use it. In the FGI, field experts need a field manual and a systematic countermeasure system. Furthermore, they call for strengthened networks between community agencies and increased school roles. It requires an expanded activity and a suitable incentive system of jobs. Parents hoped to provide high-quality food, expand care space, and support uninterrupted care.

The conclusions that combine the above results are as follows. First, flexible and elastic care requiring in response to the regularization of disasters. First, caregiving requires infrastructure maintenance. For this purpose, the maintainer must expand the maintenance space and extend the maintenance time. Second, there is a need to strengthen services for care without gaps. It must expand maintenance costs such as vouchers and cash to reduce maintenance gaps. Third, the comprehensive care system should strengthen. First, network such as local care councils should be strengthened, and predictable care systems should be established.