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China to provide more children with affordable preschool education

Updated: Nov 15,2018 9:16 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — About 85 percent of preschoolers in China, aged between 3 and 6, will be enrolled in certified kindergartens by 2020, according to a high-level directive published on Nov 15.

Meanwhile, children studying at affordable kindergartens, including public and private ones, will account for 80 percent of all preschoolers by that date, said the document jointly issued by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council.

By 2020, the country aims to enroll more than 200,000 university students onto preschool education degrees annually and plans to train 1.5 million preschool principals and teachers.

By 2035, preschool education, which lasts for three years, will be available for all children of the appropriate age, with a national preschool network set to be established.

In the document, the government promises to increase financial input into preschool education, particularly in poverty-stricken rural areas in the country’s central and western regions, improve training of preschool teachers and step up supervision of kindergartens.

Affordable preschools will be the priority of the campaign, the document said, warning that the proportion of high-end kindergartens is now too large.

Governments of all levels are encouraged to establish public kindergartens, in a bid to put about 50 percent of all preschool children in public education by 2020. Each township should have at least one public kindergarten while a large village should have at least one public kindergarten or a branch.

Communities, villages, State-owned enterprises and public institutions such as universities are also encouraged to establish their own kindergartens.

Children from disadvantaged families, as well as those who are orphans and/or disabled, will receive financial support to ensure they go to preschool.

Private kindergartens will be put into two categories: profitable and nonprofitable. Existing kindergartens are required to register with authorities as either of them.