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Quality Early Child Education & Care



Early Child Education Committees of Japan Teachers’ Union, JTU, and Taiwan National Teachers Association, NTA, had the first online meeting on 14 January 2022 to share educational practice, experiences, and challenges.

Taiwan and Japan have historically similar systems of Early Child Education and Childcare which had been bureaucratically supervised by Ministry of Education and Ministry of Labour respectively. Around 10 years ago, the both Governments have started to integrate the two separated systems into one as child school “子ども園” or “幼児園“.

Therefore, both committees reported similar challenges, for example, wages. As average, their wages are lower than other occupations. Also, there are wage gaps between teachers and nursery staffs. Teachers’ wages are higher than ones of nursery staffs, but teachers are not paid for overtime work.

A presenter of NTA showed a video on “a day of child school”, which was started from 8 am to 4 pm or until parents picked their children up. As we have more diversity in our work and life, the needs for early child education and childcare services are also changed. The teachers and nursery staffs become much busier than before to teach and take care of children until their parents pick them up. So, there is another common challenge, long working hours. They have a lot of paperwork as well.

Quality early child education and care for all children are universal and essential to achieve the quality life for all. This is the first stage for children to start their life. Teachers and nursery staffs are the key actors. We need to remind that their well-being is directly influencing children.

The both committee members of JTU and NTA enjoyed fruitful discussions and will continue.