Hsinchu County’s population has been increasing in recent years, and its birth rate ranks among the best in Taiwan. Hsinchu County Magistrate Wen-Ke Yang has turned Hsinchu County into a livable city for getting married, starting a family, and nurturing children. The county government strove for subsidies from the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program and invested NT$280 million for the construction of the first comprehensive social welfare center in the county. After over two years of construction, the project overcame difficulties such as insufficient construction crews and building materials, and COVID-19 outbreaks, and it was finally completed this month. The center has been planned to officially open to the public in the first half of next year after service providers start operating. It will be a multi-functional recreational venue that offers education and entertainment for children and their parents, welfare consultation services, and family event hosting.
The comprehensive social welfare center held a completion ceremony today (20th). Hsinchu County Magistrate Wen-Ke Yang; Chief Tzu-Jung Tu of the Social and Family Affairs Administration; Kan-Ming Ho, Mayor of Zhubei City; Wei-Chou Lin, Legislator; Bing-Han Wang, Deputy Speaker, and numerous county councilors and representatives, neighborhood heads, and so on inaugurated the ceremony, officially announcing that Hsinchu County’s friendly parenting environment has moved toward a new milestone.
Hsinchu County Magistrate Yang indicated that the percentage of youth making up the population is 16%, higher than the 13% elderly population, and that Hsinchu County is one of the youngest cities in Taiwan. Yang said that he highly values people’s needs, so he has perfected civic welfare facilities for young children and residents. The center includes a privately managed public infant daycare center, a child care resources center, a child and juvenile center, the Zhubei District Social Welfare Service Center, and an activity space for residents. Today, the social welfare center was completed smoothly as people had expected. At present, the Department of Social Affairs is preparing to invite bids from service providers. Operations are scheduled to start in the first half of next year. The center will become a chief location for social welfare in Zhubei. The county government hopes that the center will help younger people feel more willing to get married and happy to start families, relieving the burdens of their parents.
“This is the new era for social welfare in Hsinchu County!” Tzu-jung Tu highly praised the rapid growth of the populations in both Hsinchu County and Hsinchu City. County Magistrate Yang has clearly aimed at the child care needs of people. With resources from both the central and local governments, the Hsinchu County government built the multi-functional center, which takes care of toddlers, children, juveniles, and senior citizens, and fortifies the social safety network. In the future, Hsinchu County will have a women and children’s center, and three privately managed public infant daycare centers in the hope that the government can continue to meet the needs of locals.
The Department of Social Affairs indicated that Ministry of Health and Welfare subsidized NT$90 million, the county government raised approximately NT$170 million, and Zhubei City Office subsidized approximately NT$25.28 million, totaling around NT$280 million, to build the Hsinchu Comprehensive Social Welfare Center located close to the Zhubei City Public Health Center. The area of the center is around 1,299 square meters, and it was planned, designed and supervised by the Ho Yao Architecture Firm. After the review committee examined the project and citizens had participated in a townhall meeting to gather public opinions, the Hong Ming Construction Co., Ltd. and Jin Ding Feng Engineering Co., Ltd. jointly constructed the building.
Chung-hsiang Huang, the architect of Ho Yao Architecture Firm, stated that the exterior of the social welfare center is chiefly black, gray and white. See-through, withdrawn windows, and framed sunshine awnings have been used to create a see-through and flowing feeling to the architecture. Additionally, it has adopted multi-layer greening, and a barrier-free space has been built. Moreover, it has obtained Green Building and Smart Building certifications. The social welfare center is a six-floor above-ground building with a two-floor basement. The first floor is a privately managed, public infant daycare center divided into a play area, children’s classroom, an information and reading area, an outdoor area, and the lobby. It’s expected to care for 30 to 40 young children. The child care resources center (Parent-child Dream Center) is located on the second floor. It includes an entrance control area, crawling and sandbox area, stage, and children’s supermarket. The third floor has the largest child and juvenile center in Zhubei District featuring a reading area, board game area, play area, and parent-child area. The Zhubei District Social Welfare Service Center is located on the fourth floor. It has an information and reading area, office and meeting room. The Zhubei City Office is on the fifth floor, and a comprehensive meeting room is on the sixth floor.