Education Ministry to Regulate Unlicensed Kindergartens
    2011-02-24 06:30:30      Web Editor: Gong
China's Ministry of Education has urged the reform of unlicensed kindergartens to ease the current shortage of pre-school educational resources, the "Beijing News" reports.

Li Tianshun, deputy director of the Department of Basic Education II under the Ministry of Education, said local governments should strengthen their inspection and management of unlicensed kindergartens and guide them to meet related standards.

Kindergartens that manage to meet the standards after the reform can be licensed to provide formal education programs, while those that fail to safeguard children's security and healthy growth will be shut down, Li said.

Li also urged local governments to quickly develop pre-school education programs and expand pre-school programs to meet the educational needs of the country's growing number of kindergarten-age children. Currently, more than 40 percent of children in this age group do not have a chance to attend kindergarten, he said. The difficulty of enrolling children in kindergartens in China is the main reason why many unlicensed kindergartens exist.

A survey conducted in 2009 indicated the number of unlicensed kindergartens in Beijing had reached nearly 1,300 and exceeded the number of licensed ones, which was 1,266.

The local government has planned to invest 5 billion yuan (US$759.5 million) to build or expand 600 kindergartens during the next five years. It also has encouraged the startup of kindergartens run by local residential committees and institutions.

The Ministry of Education will announce the regulation of kindergarten tuition fees this year to clarify charge items, cost calculating principles and management process, Li said. In addition, it will issue an education guide for children three to six years old to direct pre-school programs.

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