In December last year, Si-min Yoo (2017) asserted in his petition that the remaining elementary school classrooms should be reused to make childcare facilities. He also insisted in that petition that “This is not a new idea. It’s a policy idea that’s been known to the government for quite some time. If education and child care were all controlled by one government department, it would already be realized.” (Yoo, 2017). It means that there have been little cooperation between ministries for providing more efficient childcare services. Also, a study of childcare services (Lee, 2016, p.17,18) noted that government’s childcare system is operated by three ministries and there are Central Governmental Caring Council and Local Governmental Caring Council made for collaboration between ministries, but they are not effective enough. Therefore, to provide more efficient child welfare services for the public, unifying database between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family and finding solution to current problems in childcare services is necessary.
There are several problems in current childcare services. First, the services provided by different ministry are duplicated. A study of child welfare services asserted that “the childcare services provided by Elementary Care Class, Community Child Center, Afterschool Academy for Youth are similar in terms of teaching students how to do homework, reading, and experience-oriented activities such as sports and games.” (Lee, 2016, p.18). But each of the childcare services is provided by different ministries so that the budget costs multiple to operate three similar services. So the budget is insufficient for each childcare service. “The government planned to invest a budget of KRW 1.1053 trillion for the full day’s care of Elementary Care Class, but “the experts pointed out that the government plan falls far short of the demand for two-income families.” (Jo, 2018). The budget of Community Child Center is insufficient too. In 2015, the Ministry of Health and Welfare spent 0.8 percent of its spending on child welfare, while “Community Child Center social workers paid an average of KRW 1.13 million, falling short of the minimum wage.” (Choi, 2017). If the ministries unify the database between the program so that each childcare center knows what program the other Child Center provides and characterize each programs, they can use the duplicated budget for similar programs to increase the efficiency of each child welfare service.
Also, there are duplicated uses of childcare services provided by different ministries. A study (The Korean Association For Policy Analysis and Evaluation. 2014, p.51) discovered that 2.7% of children used both the Elementary Care Class and Community Child Center. This is because welfare services that can be received by age are overlapping. The study of childcare services offered that “The Child Welfare Act covers children under 18 years of age and the Framework Act On Juveniles covers children aged 9 to 24. Therefore, for children aged 9 to 18 years, both the Child Welfare Act and the Framework Act On Juveniles will be applied at the same time. On the other hand, the Framework Act on Education does not clearly specify the age standards of the subject, but it may be aimed at children attending school. Accordingly, children aged 6 to 9 are applicable to the Child Welfare Act and the Framework Act on Education, and the children aged 9 to 18 are applicable to the Child Welfare Act, the Framework Act On Juveniles and the Framework Act on Education. ” (Lee, 2016, p.15). Also, other study of Elementary Care Class pointed out that “The current regulations do not prohibit the duplicated use of services, nor investigate into whether anyone is actually using the same service.” (Gu, 2014, p.20). Loose management of the government and duplicated age criteria on law cause the duplicated use of the childcare services. Unifying the database between childcare services and investigating duplicated use can make childcare services more efficient by preventing duplicated use.
The other problem is limitation of current Caring Councils. A study of Elementary Care Class (Gu, 2014, p.48~51) noted that there is Caring Council that made by government but it has some limitations because it is not always operated and it cannot play a practical role and it cannot link the demand for child care services to appropriate care agencies. Therefore, the government should give them a practical role such as unifying the database to find similar content of different childcare programs. And if they find them, they can make each program characteristic by deleting similar content of one side and make new content that is needed. Then the duplicated user of similar programs can select the one he/she thinks more proper to his/her condition.
There are some considerations in this opinion. The first one is the possibility of hacking. If the hacker penetrates the server, the privacy of the children who use childcare services can be leaked. But there are some methods to prevent hacking. Hacking expert Gu Samuel interviewed that to prevent hacking, “network separation between external and business systems” and the recruitment of staff who are expert of handling systems that prevent hacking is necessary (Seoul Meteuro, 2015). Also, there are other methods like penetration testing. Penetration hacking is “hard-to-hand hacking to identify vulnerable areas, prepare proactive actions, and improve measures to prevent incidents from occurring, and ensure that the actual” (IT Yongeosajeon, n.d.). If the government make use of these methods, they can prevent hacking for the database.
Second one is the opposition of the public. Privacy infringement can matter if the government unify the database and manage it in one organization, so the public can opposite to unifying database between ministries. There was a similar argument with National Education Information System (NEIS). And it can be helpful to consult a case of NEIS. A study (Seo, 2013, p.102~105) argued that the absence of a consultative body to represent the people, “the Ministry of Education’s frequent reversal of its position” and the opacity of the system was the major problem of NEIS, so making the consultative body to represent the people and “reflecting the view of people” and “building a system that can monitor who is using what information for what purposes in real-time” is important when making platform government. Of course, unifying database is not making a platform government but it can give implications to the matter of unifying dadtabase. If the government make sure that the information is used by only the purpose of finding inefficient and duplicated use and programs of childcare services and reflect the opinion of people when unifying it, the people would not protest against it.
In conclusion, unifying database between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family is necessary because current childcare system has some problems that can be resolved by it. The problems are the duplicated use of similar childcare programs, non-characteristic childcare programs and the limitations of Caring Council. Unifying database and finding the duplicated use and similar childcare programs provided by different ministries can be helpful to resolve those problems. There are some considerations such as hacking and opposition of the public, but if the government make use of methods to prevent hacking, ensure that the data will be used only for public purposes and reflect the opinion of people sufficiently, the problems can be solved.
Choi D-H. (2017, October 12). “0.2%e bulgwahan adongbokjiyesan…jiyeogadongsenteo unyeongbi neullyeoya”. ” A child welfare budget of just 0.2 % … government need to increase the cost of operating local child centers.”. News 1 Korea. Retrieved from http://news1.kr/articles/?3122300.
Gu S-I. (2014, November 28). Banggwahu dolbomseobiseu pyeongga. Evaluation of care services after school. (Business Evaluation 14-11). Seoul: National Assembly Budget Office.
Jo M-H. (2018, April 5). “Matbeori chodeungsaeng janyeo ‘banggwahu gongbaek’ jeongbuga chaegimjinda”. “Youth are dual-income kids’ after-school spaces, the government is responsible.”. Korea Economic. Retrieved from http://news.hankyung.com/article/2018040451791.
Lee C-J. (2016, July 15). Adongbokji saeop pyeongga – yobohoadong bohotpjaripjiwon mit banggwahudolbomseobiseureul jungsimeuro. Evaluation of Child Welfare Projects-Centering on After-scool care services and Support for child protection and independence.(Business Evaluation 16-09). Seoul: National Assembly Budget Office.
Seo, H-J. (2013, August). Phullaysphom gengpwu kwuhyensiuy kayincengpopoho mwunceyey kwanhan yenkwu – NEIS salyeylul cwungsimulo -. A Study on the Problems about Protection of Personal Information in Platform Government- Focus on NEIS Case -. A master’s thesis, Inha University.
Seoul Meteuro keompyuteo seobeo haeking…eolmana wiheomhanga?. Seoul Metro Computer Server hacking … How dangerous is it?. (2015. October 5). YTN. Retrieved from http://www.ytn.co.kr/_ln/0101_201510051352030111.
IT Yongeosajeon. (n.d.). Telecommunications Technology Association. Retrived from http://word.tta.or.kr/dictionary/dictionaryView.do?word_seq=091618-1.
The Korean Association For Policy Analysis and Evaluation. (2014, August 18). Banggwahu dolbomseobiseu manjokdo josa. A survey on the satisfaction level of Elementary care class.
Yoo S-M. (2017, December 12). Chodeunggyosireul hwaryonghan gonggong boyuksiseol hwakdae. Expansion of Public Childcare Facility Using the Elementary School Building. Retrieved from https://www1.president.go.kr/petitions/64176