Marital status will no longer matter in getting child care support from the government under a new rule that will benefit low-income foreigners raising their Korean children.
Under current rules, foreigners who are not married to Korean nationals are not eligible to receive a monthly child care support of 200,000 won ($180) per child even though they are raising their Korean children.
This will change when a set of revised rules on support to single-parent families takes effect in May.
The change will benefit foreigners who came to Korea and had children with Korean nationals, but did not marry them or did not become naturalized Korean citizens. Only those who make less than 52 percent of the median income will be eligible for receiving single-parent family support.
The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family said about 100 children are estimated to fall into this category.
Under the set of ordinances the Cabinet passed on Tuesday, single parents who receive living allowances from the government because they make less than 30 percent of the median income will also qualify for child care support of 100,000 won per child from next month.
The age bracket for single parents eligible for additional child care support will be expanded to aged 34 or below, from the current age 24 or below, increasing the number of beneficiaries by about 18,000.
The additional subsidy is 100,000 won per month for a child aged 5 or below, and 50,000 won for children aged between 6 and 17.
Such changes will also apply to multicultural single-parent families.
Applications for child care support can be made at district offices or at online.bokjiro.go.kr.
The Minister of Gender Equality and Family will lay out the single-parent family policy enforcement plans for the next year, and inform other chiefs of central government agencies, governors and mayors about them by Nov. 30. They then will have to submit their respective enforcement plans to the minister by Dec. 30, the ministry said.
By Kim So-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org