PAJU, South Korea, Jan. 20 (Yonhap) -- Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on Friday pledged to increase daycare centers to support working mothers as part of efforts to tackle the nation's low fertility rate.
During a visit to a joint daycare center in the Paju Book City, some 30 kilometers north of Seoul, Hwang noted the burden of childcare is partially attributable to the nation's low fertility rate which has hovered around 1.2 for years.
"(The government) will seek to expand company daycare centers so that parents can send their children there with a sense of relief during their work away from home, and it will also improve the quality of childcare (at the facilities)," he said.
"(The government) will create a society in which young adults want to get married and have children," he added.
The center serves workers in some 250 publishers in the complex with more than 10,000 employees.
Hwang reaffirmed that the government will provide state incentives to encourage more small and medium-sized firms to install joint daycare centers like the one in Paju.
"We can achieve the tangible results from our efforts to overcome the issue of the low fertility rate when not only the government, but also companies and workers participate in the endeavors," he said.
To boost the country's fertility rate, the government has been carrying out a series of policy initiatives such as a "flextime" system which allows employees to flexibly decide their work schedules to spend more time with their families.
Park So-yeon firstname.lastname@example.org
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