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Governments introduce range of measures to support child care

By YAN DONGJIE | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-04-25 08:40
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A family takes photos against a backdrop of blooming sunflowers at the Olympic Forest Park in Beijing, on July 4, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

Wang Yuxiao couldn't wait to open the tax app on her phone and add details about her three sons.

She happily shared the experience on her WeChat moments, saying "The legs of a fly are meat, too," a Chinese saying that means "every little helps".

Through an individual income tax app provided by the State Administration of Taxation, parents can apply for additional deductions if their children attend school or are younger than 3 years old.

The 2022 Government Work Report, released on March 5, announced that for the first time care expenses for children younger than 3 will be included in the special additional deductions for individual income tax.

Multiple supportive measures were rolled out in various provinces and cities after the May announcement of the third-child policy, which allows all couples to have up to three children. As the most important factors for many mothers are time and money, the measures revolve around those elements.

In addition to tax reductions, some cities are offering subsidies for families with multiple children.

Panzhihua, Sichuan province, was the first to announce such a measure, offering 500 yuan ($79) per baby per month for families with two or three children until they turn 3 years old.

The provinces of Zhejiang, Jilin, Guangdong, Heilongjiang and Hunan, plus Beijing, have also discussed providing subsidies.

In September, Linze county, Gansu province, announced that a family's second child is entitled to a child care subsidy of 5,000 yuan per year until the age of 3, while the figure for the third child is 10,000 yuan. When the birth allowance of thousands is added in, a family with three children can apply for a maximum of 100,000 yuan.

In October, Beijing's Chaoyang district said families with more than one child will have the opportunity to cut the line when waiting for public rental apartments, setting an example of a local government housing policy working to ease the baby burden.

In March last year, the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) mentioned exploring the possibility of giving child care leave, and the 30th session of the 13th National People's Congress Standing Committee in August amended the Population and Family Planning Law and encouraged local governments to establish leave for parents.

For families with children younger than 3, provinces such as Guizhou, Sichuan, Anhui and Fujian, and the Ningxia Hui autonomous region, allow both parents 10 days of parental leave per year. In September, Changyuan, Henan province, announced that both parents would be entitled to a maximum 30 days of leave a year.

In Guangdong province, mothers of three children are eligible for 80 days extra leave, while their spouse can have 15 days.

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