The evolving Korean childcare regime

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this paper is to understand changes and progress of the Korean childcare regime by examining the evolutional process of childcare initiatives that were developed since the Japanese colonial rule.

This study employed a qualitative-based research design with a particular emphasis on explanatory research. Meanwhile, the data were gathered through the peer-reviewed literature and reports.

The findings indicate that Korea has had three types of childcare regimes: effective-informal, productivist and inclusive-liberal orientation. It also pinpoints that while the care regime development followed the European regime, the egalitarian society, which is a social prerequisite for modern welfare state-building, has not yet been fully established. This paradoxical situation eventually impedes the development of universal childcare aimed at promoting gender equality and a work-life balance.

This article offers a model and characteristics of the Korean childcare regime dating back to the Japanese colonial period up until the Moon Jae-In administration, where it still receives less attention in most of the social policy literature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1089-1107
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
Issue number9/10
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Care regime
  • Childcare development
  • Political-economy
  • Gender equallity
  • Work-life balance


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