China to invest heavily in preschools

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In the coming years, China will spend billions building new preschools and improving the quality of existing ones.

Chinese parents want modern preschools. In a country where academic success is extremely important, what kids do in before entering elementary school is no child’s play. 

In Chengdu, a rapidly growing city of 15 million inhabitants in the Western part of China, public kindergartens are scarce, teachers under-educated and facilities not sufficiently modern. As a result, more than 85 % of preschools in Chengdu are privately run. 

Chengdu to build 600 new preschools 

According to Guo Xiaoya, Deputy Inspector of Chengdu Education Bureau, the city is about to invest 665 million RMB in developing new preschools. 

“We plan to build 600 new preschools in the coming years. Our goal is to be able to guarantee parents that every child can go to a qualified kindergarten,” said Guo Xiaoya. 

Educating teachers 

In addition to building new facilities, the city will improve the skills of teachers. 

“Our goal is to strengthen the quality of teaching, including educating teachers through college and continuing education. They need to be able to help children develop. Here, I think we can learn from Denmark’s high quality preschools,” Guo Xiaoya said. She spoke at a recent seminar in Chengdu on early childhood learning, hosted by the cities of Chengdu and Horsens as well as VIA University College. The seminar was part of the Denmark Day celebration on September 25th. 

Chengdu will offer subsidies 

One of the ways Chengdu plans to make it possible for children to go to kindergarten is to offer subsidies for children in public preschools. Also, the city will offer subsidies to institutions that hire well educated preschool teachers, the Deputy Inspector said, adding that the implementation of the preschool investments is a part of Chengdu’s current five-year plan for municipal development.