The article childcare Center Hopes to Relieve Burden of Parents (Ewha Voice, November 3) by Kim Na-hyun was very interesting as it gave welcome news about the opening of the childcare center next year. According to the article, this center will help married women with children by reducing child-related concerns while attending classes. The center seems like it will help women through good programs, a good environment, and good facilities. However, there are two things the Ewha Childcare Center should consider to further enhance its program.
First, the childcare center should run flexibly. In Korea most childcare centers have unreasonably strict regulations requiring long term registration. These restrictions make it virtually impossible for many graduate students and part time lecturers to use childcare center programs. Allowing short-term registration would enable these mothers to use facilities more flexibly. One of my professors once confided in me that she had had to tie her son to a tree in front of the Humanities Building during her graduate school exam because there was no one to take care of her son on that particular day. So, the childcare center should not have regulations that prevent assisting mothers with dire needs from registering.
Second, the childcare center should pay more attention to handicapped children. Ewha is known for its great education programs and qualified teachers for young children with special needs. Therefore, the Ewha Childcare Center should work together with the Department of Special Education to improve its programs. Furthermore, I think Ewha should use its abundant resources to help other institutions which are experiencing problems in caring for handicapped children. One of my friends, a teacher at the Kangnam Catholic Medical Center? childcare center, said her concerns were twofold: inadequate training for childcare center teachers, and the absence of logistical and physical provisions for students with special needs. To solve these problems, the Ewha Childcare Center should offer education to teachers who work for small institutions by assisting those centers which need more specific knowledge about how to deal with handicapped children.
In summary, I would recommend the future Ewha Childcare Center administrators to do two things. First, they should devise a user-friendly enrollment system for graduate school users and part-time lecturers. Second, they should focus on improving the quality of care for handicapped children and on sharing that knowledge with other centers.