China's top health authority has announced plans to allow for the establishment of childcare facilities in private homes. This move is aimed at encouraging childbirth, particularly as the country recorded negative population growth for the first time last year.
On Wednesday, the Department of Population Monitoring and Family Development of the National Health Commission (NHC) began soliciting public opinions on management measures for home nursery service providers that offer childcare services to children under the age of 3.
According to the draft management measures, home nursery services are established in residential venues and provide childcare services on a daily, half-day, or hourly basis.
The draft management measures for nursery facilities stipulate that each home nursery can provide services for no more than five children aged 3 or below.
The service providers can apply for registration with the local market watchdog in accordance with relevant local laws and regulations.
Services at home nursery facilities include taking care of infants, ensuring their safety, providing balanced meals, and offering early learning opportunities to promote infants' healthy physical and mental development.
According to the management measures, service providers must be physically and mentally healthy, without a history of mental illness or a criminal record.
Additionally, service providers should have relevant experiences or a professional educational background in childcare and healthcare.
The management measures also stipulate that each caretaker can take care of no more than three infants, and the building area per infant should not be less than nine square meters.
Besides, the home nursery cannot be located in a basement or semi-basement. The facilities should be equipped with security and monitoring systems that cover all areas where infants spend time and engage in activities. Surveillance records should be kept for at least 90 days.