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Press Release for Media Briefing of the Shanghai Municipal Government on September 16, 2020

September 18, 2020

The Information Office of Shanghai Municipality held a media briefing today (September 16), during which Shanghai Vice Mayor Chen Qun introduced the “Shanghai Three-Year Action Plan for Child Care Services (2020-2022)”. Wang Ping, director of the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, Jin Weimin, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Finance Bureau, and Zhang Meixing, inspector with the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, attended the media briefing and answered questions from reporters.

On the basis of promoting the implementation of a new three-year action plan (2019-2021) for pre-school education for children aged 3-6, Shanghai has studied and formulated the city’s first three-year action plan (2020-2022) for child care services for kids under the age of 3.

The formulation of a three-year action plan for child care services is an important step to accelerate the achievement of the goal of “bring good education to young children”.

Children under 3 years of age are “the softest group in society”. Child care services are related to the healthy growth of young children, the vital interests of the vast number of families, as well as the improvement of the quality of life in the city. The CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee and the Municipal Government attach great importance to and care for the healthy growth of children and adolescents, and insist on doing a good job in child-care services as the top priority to safeguard and improve people’s livelihood. In recent years, Shanghai has taken the lead in the country in publishing the “1+2” documents on child care services, and has constructed a pattern of child-care services with “Two Persistence” as the basic characteristics (i.e., persist in family-based parenting, relying on communities to provide parenting guidance and help improve the quality of parenting; persist in leveraging government support and guidance to encourage social participation, with specific measures including construction of integrated child-care kindergartens and universal child-care facilities, support for social forces to organize nurseries that provide both education and child-care services, so as to provide services to families in need.) Early education centers at all levels provide more than 6 free offline parenting guidance services to young children’s families, and push online parenting guidance resources to every parent of young children.

With the full implementation of the “two-child” policy, the size and structure of the city’s population is changing, and people’s demand for diversified family-based parenting guidance and universal child care services has become more urgent. In June this year, Shanghai issued the Opinions to Deepen Implementation of the Important Concept of ‘People’s City to be Built by People and for People’ and Write a New Chapter of a City for People in the New Era, which made “bringing good education to young children” an important driver to further improve the city’s livability and the quality of life for people, thus enabling child care services to play a key role in the new era. To this end, education, health, finance and other authorities jointly formulated the Shanghai Three-Year Action Plan for Child Care Services (2020-2022), which has been issued and implemented by the General Office of the Municipal Government. It is the city’s the first three-year action plan for child-care services, but also the country’s first action plan for child-care services, thus laying a solid foundation for the development of Shanghai’s child-care services.

Focus on the two key areas, further enhance the supply of child-care resources, and improve the system of child-care services

The Three-Year Action Plan focuses on strengthening the supply of universal child-care resources and promoting parenting guidance (education, raising, healthcare), and identifies many targeted initiatives. Shanghai will use the Plan as a guide to continuously enhance the supply of child-care services, improve the system of child-care services, and constantly meet the needs for multi-level and diversified child-care services.

On one hand, we will continue to expand the supply of resources for universal child-care services. There is a strong demand for safe, universal and high-quality child-care services. In this regard, the city will spend about 3 years to further integrate high-quality resources, mobilize social forces, and continuously expand the supply of child-care services. First, the city will vigorously promote the construction of universal child-care points. Since 2017, the city has incorporated the construction of universal child-care points into municipal government projects, adding 50 new universal child-care facilities each year. In the next 3 years, we will continue to carry out practical projects to add at least 50 new universal child-care sites each year, and on this basis, encourage district governments and communities to support the establishment of public welfare universal child care sites by providing space, rent reduction and other government subsidies, and strive to achieve the goal of “one universal child care facility in one community.” By the end of 2022, the coverage of universal child care facilities in the city’s all communities will be no less than 85%. Second, the city will continue to support kindergartens to integrate child care facilities in order to improve the supply of child care services. In the 1990s, Shanghai began to allow qualified kindergartens to integrate child-care facilities, and has got a lot of good experience and good practices over the years. The Three-Year Action Plan adheres to the direction of child-care integration and defines a new goal: Over half of the city’s kindergartens are expected to open nursery classes by 2022. To this end, public kindergartens will increase or free up certain degree resources for the establishment of nursery classes on the basis of meeting the needs of young children from the resident population. Meanwhile, the city will leverage policy guidance to encourage more private kindergartens to organize nursery classes, and provide more universal child care resources for the society. Third, the city will strengthen the supply of resources for diversified child-care services. The city will implement the comprehensive incentive system and preferential tax policies to support enterprises and institutions, social organizations or individuals to organize a number of specialized and high-quality child-care services, jointly or on their own. At the same time, we will leverage community services and integrate community resources to build child-friendly community demonstration points and children service centers, to create a community care service circle and provide child care services conveniently in the nearby areas.

On the other hand, the quality of family parenting guidance and services will be constantly improved. The family is the main place for kids under 3 years of age to grow up. To provide guidance for family education and help parents to establish a scientific concept of child-rearing is of great significance for the healthy growth of infants and young children. In the next 3 years, we will provide differentiated services to families of young children of different ages through home visits, parent-child activities, parent classes and online classes, in a bid to continuously improve the relevance and effectiveness of parenting guidance. First, the city will promote innovative child-rearing guidance service models. Education and health authorities will work closely to jointly create a set of child-rearing guidance service resources that integrate “education, raising, healthcare” and offer them for free to the families in need. Second, the city will provide guidance and support for family-based child-rearing. In the next 3 years, each community will build a guidance station for family-based child-rearing. Each year, the station will provide guidance services at least once via home visit for the family of every resident newborn, and offline guidance services at least six times for the families of infants and young children in need, while also providing online child-rearing guidance services. At the same time, each district will build at least one early childhood development base, or at least 18 such bases citywide, to promote and popularize the concept of early childhood development, basic knowledge and child-rearing skills, while providing young children’s families with quality health care services. Third, the city will fully implement the maternity leave policy, encourage employers to adopt flexible working hours and other measures to create conditions for family upbringing. The city will support parents who raise infants and young children at home to return to work, and provide them with employment guidance and training on vocational skills.

Improve the four supporting mechanisms, and make every effort to promote the implementation of the Three-Year Plan of Action

In order to ensure the full implementation of the stated objectives, the Three-Year Action Plan identifies the supporting mechanisms in four aspects.

First, strengthen the overall leadership of the organization. We will improve the system of joint meetings at the municipal and district levels and inter-departmental coordination mechanisms, clarify the division of tasks, identify responsibilities at all levels, incorporate child-care services into the relevant plans for economic and social development at the municipal and district levels, incorporate the implementation of child-care services into the scope of supervision and evaluation by the city on various districts in terms of responsibilities on education, and incorporate key indicators into the scope of the annual self-assessment, so as to effectively supervise and implement the work.

Second, solidly promote team building. We will encourage and guide qualified institutions to set up relevant majors for child-rearing services on a pilot basis, to train professionals in child-rearing, child-care, health care and child-rearing management. Every year, we provide professional training covering business ethics, professional norms, vocational skills, safety precautions, and mental health. We will support the publication of the wage guidance for people working at child-care institutions, and incorporate child-care practitioners into the social security system in accordance with the law. We will strictly implement the entry standards for practitioners, and all practitioners are required to be certified. We will resolutely put an end to child abuse and other acts, and rule violators and their supervisors could face a lifetime ban.

Third, increase support and protection. We will strive to support public kindergartens that open nursery classes in terms of spending per student and teacher headcount, and incorporate the funding required to develop child-care services into the budgets of governments at all levels. At the same time, we will make it clear that child-care service practitioners who are qualified to participate in the training programs for child care workers or nursery workers, will be offered a certain amount of subsidy on the training fee in accordance with the relevant rules. Eligible child-care institutions can enjoy the relevant tax incentives.

Fourth, strengthen security management. All child-care institutions are required to strengthen the management of the whole process from entry to departure of young children, to formulate emergency plans for public health, fire safety, emergency treatment and other emergencies, and to strengthen emergency drills to ensure the safety and health of children. The video surveillance system of each district’s child care service guidance center should be connected with all child care institutions in the district, and each district and community should conduct monthly inspections on both safety and health issues in child care institutions in the district. All relevant departments will further coordinate and strengthen management of child care services, to help institutions that have obtained the “Notice to Carry Out Child Care Services in Accordance with the Law” to continuously improve the quality of service, to guide qualified existing child care institutions to apply for the “Notice”, and to resolutely shut down institutions that have security risks and do not have the basic conditions for the provision of child care services, thus weaving a safety net for young children.