The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) announced its plans to expand the number of locations of the highly popular city-run kids cafes to 100 by the end of this year and 400 by the end of 2026.
As part of Mayor Oh Se-hoon’s Happy Parents Project, the city is focusing on not only collaborating with districts, but also with local communities to create spaces for child care services and provide children with places where they can play safely.
The city introduced this new type of public child care facility and opened five locations last year, which gained great popularity from not just parents and kids, but also private kids cafes as these city-run kids cafes do not sell food or allow food delivery not only to prevent market competition, but also maintain a clean and hygienic play environment.
These kids cafes are akin to a public indoor playground designed to guarantee children’s right to play in a fun environment safe from the elements and other external factors at affordable rates with sufficient place space of at least 10 square meters per child. Last year, more than 10,000 patrons visited and used the city’s kids cafe services.
Inside, there are various play facilities from conventional playsets (e.g. slides, trampolines) to interactive playsets (e.g. stacking blocks, media players) to boost children’s imagination and enhance their creativity.
Starting this year, the city is planning to expand the number of these kids cafes by installing them not only in public facilities, but also private facilities citywide, such as apartment complexes, religious facilities, and daycare centers that have closed (or are planned to close) to increase public accessibility across various neighborhoods. Also, the city will operate the kids cafes even on weekends from 9 AM to 6 PM.
Moreover, the city will also roll out a play care program in which qualified child care professionals provide short-term child care services so that parents can drop off their children to run quick errands, such as grocery shopping and doctor’s visits.
Source: Seoul Metropolitan Government
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