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Encouraging Fertility through Childcare Incentive Policies: International Practice and Enlightenment (No.264, 2021)

Nov 11,2021

By Sun Fei, Research Team on “Measures to Flesh out the Policy System for Population Fertility”, Research Institute of Public Administration and Human Resources, DRC

Research Report, No.264, 2021 (Total 6329) 2021-9-14

Abstract: The birth rates in Sweden and France have been maintained at a high level since the beginning of the 21st century. Another country Japan, in particular, has not only effectively curbed the downward trend in its fertility rate, but also achieved a steady and rising growth. The three countries mentioned-above have accumulated abundant experience in encouraging fertility rate through childcare policies for those who have babies or children between 0 and 3, such as the formulation of parental leave and childbirth subsidy policies, continuous childcare service quality improvement, explorations into the government-led diversified service supply models and attaching great importance to law and regulation guarantee and so on. These practices have effectively motivated the families for childbirth and provided useful enlightenment for China to formulate its own childcare policies and encourage families to have more children. At present and in the future, work needs to be done to learn from the international experience to encourage childbirth by means of enhanced childcare policies, which may include the following aspects. First, the parental leave policies need to be formulated and fleshed out. Second, the national financial support needs to be strengthened and the childcare service system be improved. Third, the promotion of relevant law system for childcare needs to be accelerated so as to reverse the dilemma brought by the significant low birthrate.

Keywords: childcare policies, childbirth motivation, international experience