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Shanghai pilots childcare services to help two-child families

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-03-07 16:54

SHANGHAI -- Shanghai has launched pilot childcare services in a number of work places to encourage more families to have a second child, local authorities said Tuesday.

About 80 percent of women of child-bearing age in Shanghai do not want a second child, according to a 2016 survey jointly conducted by the Shanghai Federation of Trade Unions and Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

In the survey, all interviewed women had permanent Shanghai residence permits, and the major reason for their not wanting a second child was that there was "no one to help them take care of the child."

Shanghai has 3.3 million working women, with many calling for government help with child care.

The Shanghai Federation of Trade Unions has established 12 childcare pilot centers in workplaces before the International Women's Day, March 8, to help working women take care of their children. These centers are set up in enterprises, industry parks, public institutions and government departments that meet certain requirments and have strong demand for such services.

Shanghai will expand childcare services gradually. By the end of 2017, the city is expected to have 50 such childcare centers, according to the Shanghai Federation of Trade Unions.

Besides, the federation has set up 1,765 "mom's huts" since 2013 to provide services for pregnant, postnatal and breastfeeding women.

Hong Hao, chairman of the federation, said Shanghai would build 800 more such facilities in the next two years. By 2019, there will be 2,500 mom's huts in Shanghai.

Starting in the late 1970s, China's one-child policy ended on Jan 1, 2016, when the government allowed all married couples to have two children.

In 2016, there were 18.67 million newborns in China, 11 percent more than in 2015, with about 45 percent of them not a first child, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

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