Press Release for September 20, 2019 Media Briefing by the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government
September 23, 2019
The Information Office of the Shanghai Municipal Government held a press conference today (September 20). Vice Mayor Chen Qun introduced the situation of perfecting the 0-6-year-old kindergarten service system in Shanghai. Lu Jing, director of the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, Wu Qianyu, inspector of the Shanghai Health Commission, Xu Jin, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Market Supervision Bureau, and Yu Linwei, chief economist of the Shanghai Municipal Development and Reform Commission, attended the conference and jointly answered questions from reporters.
Among the seven livelihood guarantees put forward in the work report of the 19th National Congress, nurturing children comes at the first place. General Secretary Xi Jinping has repeatedly made clear requests to make achievements to ensure kindergarten works shall be paid with special attention and necessity "to solve the problem of unmet demand for infant care and early childhood education services". Last November, when General Secretary Xi Jinping visited Shanghai, he put special emphasis on the "infant care and child education" issue, which is an inevitable one for Shanghai to solve. To ensure a good infant care and child education system is in place in Shanghai is a necessary and essential task for the city because is relevant to the vital needs of the residents, to the life-long development of every human being, and to the improvement of the quality of urban life. In recent years, the Shanghai Committee of the Communist Party of China and the Shanghai Municipal Government have taken the work of nursery care for children aged 0-6 as the top priority to solve the pain points of the people's livelihood, and has been aiming to better meet the needs of the public for infant care and early education services. A number of measures have been taken to better promote the universal, inclusive and safe development of pre-school education to continuously improve the level of kindergarten service in Shanghai in the new era. Yesterday afternoon, Shanghai Party Secretary Li Qiang and Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong held a special on-site meeting of kindergarten work in Shanghai to lay out specific plan to further promote kindergarten work in Shanghai.
I. Constructing child care service system based on “government-led, family-based and multiparty participation" principles for kindergarten service for infant under 3 years
Children are the “most fragile group" in society, and they deserve the gentlest care from family and society. Overall, Shanghai has been promoting the work of kindergarten and infant care service by sticking to two principles: insisting on the foundation of upbringing of infant by family members, relying on the neighborhood communities to provide guidance for infant care to families with new born babies in order to help improve the quality of nursery; insisting on government encouragement and guidance, multiparty participation from social organizations and bodies, and supporting social forces to carry out nursery service. Nursing service institutions with integration of upbringing and education shall aim to cater the demand of families with real needs of infant care services.
We have made efforts in four aspects in recent years:
First is to strengthen family-based guide for scientific parenting. We have constructed a service system of early childhood education to guide all families having kids under three years old. Besides, we have established city-level and district-level early education guide centers. More than 9,000 such centers have covered all residential communities, with 98.2 percent of local families having kids under three years old receiving six times of free but qualified guide for scientific parenting.
Second is to take the lead in establishing a management system for nursery institutions. Last year, Shanghai became China’s first to release three documents to guide, standardize and regulate nursery institutions in a long term.
Third is to encourage participation of multiple parties to provide nursery resources. Shanghai supports qualified state-owned and private kindergartens to provide nursery services, and encourages enterprises to provide nursery services collectively to increase supply, while incorporates affordable nursery services into government-funded projects (the city has completed constructing 56 such projects so far this year) to encourage involvement of more social forces. By the end of August, Shanghai has 391 kindergartens offering nursery services, with the supplement of 35 nursery institutions and 11 district-level early childhood education centers for about 14,000 kids; Meanwhile, there are 143 private nursery institutions to provide services for 11,000 kids, along with 200 amid the process of application.
Fourth is to strengthen training of nursery professionals. Last year, Shanghai released a three-year action plan for nurturing nursery professionals through increasing enrollment of nursery majors and better relocation of policy resources; meanwhile, the city enhanced training for certified baby-care professionals. Nursery services guide centers have also been set up in all districts to formulate a system for the city’s nursery services with the inclusion of 286 professionals into the government-backed positions when such resources are in tight supply.
After more than one year of hard work, the “multi-participation” pattern and work system of the nursery service have basically taken shape and for the next step, we will focus on the efficient operation of the system and further improve the nursery work from four aspects: First, to further improve and strengthen the guidance of scientific parenting. Various means such as household guidance, parent-child activities and parent classroom will be taken and the Internet as well as some other information technology methods will be used to encourage differentiated services for children of different ages in order to improve the effectiveness of guidance.
Second, to work together to expand the inclusive educational resources of nurseries with a target to open at least one nursery in every subdistrict and town; to encourage qualified public kindergartens to offer nursery service and encourage nurseries at private kindergartens to set aside quota for the public; to make sure that public kindergartens with additional resources should place priority on nursery education.
Third, to accurately regulate the market of nursery services. In accordance with the city’s“1+2” official document on nursery service, we will regulate the market with a focus on satisfying the demand of the citizens, provide guidance to nursery institutions, and shut down a small number of institutions that either lack the basic conditions for providing nursery services or pose serious safety risks.
Fourth, to form a joint effort to implement the preferential policies for nursery service institutions. We will, on one hand, create conditions to implement the preferential policies clarified in the “1+2” official document, encourage social forces to actively participate in nursery service offering and promote their sustainable development. At the same time, we will encourage district governments to work out a comprehensive fiscal compensation scheme and to give preferential policies to the nursery institutions so as to boost the development of nursery services.
II. Improving the “inclusive, safe and diversified” pre-school public educational services for children aged between 3 and 6
Preschool education for children aged between 3 and 6 years old is the initial stage of lifelong learning, an integral part of the national education system, and an obligatory educational service guaranteed by the government. Over the years, Shanghai has adhered to the principle of public welfare, and include preschool education in its public education services. Since 2006, the city has completed three rounds of three-year pre-school education action plan and the fourth round of the three-year action plan (2019-2021) was also launched last month. During the process, Shanghai has always been focusing on the following two areas to develop pre-school education:
On the one hand, more kindergartens have been encouraged to be set up to provide more admission opportunities for kids. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Shanghai has continuously optimized the distribution and supply of kindergartens resources according to the changing trend of population distribution. We have strictly implemented the construction policy of public kindergartens in residential commercial housing districts. The city has increased 226 kindergartens, with an average annual increase of 38. The total number of kindergartens has reached 1,627 so far, which has effectively responded to the challenges posed by the peak of population growth to preschool education resources. The city has established a public-led preschool education resource guarantee mechanism. Over 60 percent of kindergartens are public kindergartens and over 70 percent of children attend public kindergartens (the national 2020 target is 50 percent in principle). The gross admission rate for the city's pre-school three years’ education has reached 97 percent (the national 2020 target is 85 percent), and the number of children receiving inclusive pre-school education services has reached 85 percent (the national 2020 target is 80 percent).
On the other hand, we have made efforts to enhance the education quality of pre-schools. Kindergartens in the city have generally formed a "four-in-one" pre-school education curriculum system with games as its main activities, with 41 percent of high-quality kindergartens of grade I and above. Public kindergartens have all reached the standard of grade II or above. The quality of pre-school education has been continuously improved. Shanghai's pre-school education achievements have won multiple first and second prizes in national basic education teaching achievement appraisal for two consecutive times. We have given equal attention to the quantity expansion and quality improvement of preschool teachers. Since the 18th National Congress, the number of kindergarten teachers in the city has increased by 21,600, including 10,000 full-time teachers (10,096). Efforts have been made to improve the quality of pre-school teachers. In addition to the teacher qualification certificate, new teachers need to undergo 1 years of standardized training as trainee teachers, who can only take up their posts after passing the examination. At present, all kindergarten teachers in Shanghai have certificates and on-the-job training. Eight pre-school teachers have been selected as senior teachers, accounting for 6.9 percent of these for in primary and secondary schools as well as pre-schools.
On the whole, the problem of “difficulty in entering the park” for pre-school education in Shanghai from 3 to 6 years old has been basically solved, and the problem of high toll of kindergarten has been effectively controlled, and the overall development is at the leading position in the country. In the next step, the city will focus on implementing a new three-year action plan, so that pre-school education will focus on promoting “connotation enhancement” on the basis of comprehensive protection of “resource supply”. First, continue to expand the resources of pre-school education gardens, and strictly implement the “five-synchronous” mechanism for the allocation of new residential and garden resources to ensure that a kindergarten of 15 classes is built for every 10,000 people in the permanent population, and 90 kindergartens were constructed or rebuilt and expanded in 2019-2021 to solve the problem of pre-school education resources in the suburbs and to ensure the supply of resources. The second is to promote universal fairness in the pre-school education. Through three years of efforts, gross enrollment rate of eligible children in permanent population reached 99%, the public kindergarten coverage rate reached 65%, and children in public kindergartens reached 70%, the coverage rate of inclusive education in the pre-school education (the proportion of public kindergartens and inclusive private kindergartens) reached 85%. The third is to improve the quality of pre-school education. In the next three years, the proportion of public demonstration kindergartens should reach 10%, and the proportion of public first-level kindergartens should reach 50%. We must make great efforts to improve the quality of education and respect the age characteristics and physical and mental development of preschool children, prevents the “disciplinary” and “primary school” tendencies of the pre-school education, focuses on cultivating children's good habits for life and study, and protects the children's curiosity and interest in learning, and serves children's lifelong development. The fourth is to further strengthen the teaching staff. In the next three years, the enrollment scale of pre-school education majors in colleges and universities will be further expanded, and more than 3,000 students will be enrolled each year. The proportion of undergraduate and above qualifications of kindergarten full-time teachers will be increased to 80%; one senior teacher for each public kindergarten will be ensured, the proportion of intermediate and senior teachers reached 28%, and trained a group of outstanding teachers, famous teachers and famous garden directors to provide support for the higher quality development of preschool education.