Seoul Metropolitan Government opens “Idolbom” service to university students
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Seoul Metropolitan Government opens “Idolbom” service to university students
  • Ahn In-kyeong
  • 승인 2013.06.09 11:43
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Illustration by Jeong Hyun-joo.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) announced its plans to recruit university students for Idolbom service for the first time in Korea on May 21.
Idolbom, which means an act of taking care of a child in Korean, is a one-on-one child caring service initiated to flexibly respond to various kinds of child care demands for working parents. Those who provide the Idolbom service are called “Idolbomi.”
The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family planned the project and is promoting the service to recruit undergraduate students. The SMG will select 50 students as Idolbomis who will provide services from July 1 to Aug. 23.
The Idolbom project itself has been undertaken nationwide, but it was the SMG that took the initiative in presenting the opportunity to undergraduate students.
Selected students will be responsible for taking care of a child aging from 3 to 12 years old and assist with the child’s academic studies.
There are 1,743 people who work as Idolbomi in Seoul, with 77.9 percent in their 50s and 60s, and just 0.3 percent under their 40s. However, such numbers cannot satisfy the rising demands for Idolbomis due to the changes in society.
The overall demand for the Idolbom service is on the rise, as many parents prefer one-on-one childcare services. Moreover, the need for Idolbomis in times of emergency, such as when parents need to go on business trips or work over time, has increased as well. According to the SMG’s report in March, 151 parents were on the waiting list for an Idolbomi.
In response to such high demands, the SMG opened opportunities for undergraduates to become an Idolbomi. Through this modification in the policy, not only will parents and children benefit from the service, but also the student participants.
 “After graduation, students will get married someday,” said an official of the Idolbom Team at Seoul Family Support Center. “We want to provide Idolbom service as a form of pre-parental experience for the students. As there is no such education in the school curriculum, this will be a great chance for the students to prepare for their future.”
Through the Idolbom service opportunity, students can also make valuable ties with the child and the household for which they are responsible.
 “I hope students will consider the experience as making precious ties with the child and the household and have continuous relationships with each other,” the official said. “We are in need of students who can work for a long time instead of those who just consider the service as a summer part-time job.”
The SMG recruited university students for the Idolbom service  until June 7. After receiving 80 hours of education provided by the Health Family Support Center for 10 days, selected students will be assigned to the actual service. After receiving all the required education, students will be awarded a Certificate of Idolbom by the SMG, and will be paid 5,000 won per hour for their work.

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