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September 17, 2020

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City to build cheap and efficient nurseries for the next generation

Shanghai will build at least 50 non-profit and cheap nurseries a year for children under 3 years old.

And at least half of the 1,670 existing kindergartens will offer nursery services in the next three years, compared with 30 percent now, officials said yesterday.

The announcement was part of the city’s first three-year plan (2020-2022) for developing early childcare services.

“Children under 3 years old are the softest group in a society and good nursery services matter for children’s healthy growth, the wellbeing of all families and the improvement of life quality in the city,” said Chen Qun, vice mayor of Shanghai.

Shanghai has released three policy papers on regulating nurseries.

It has structured a system that is dominated by parenting at families with instructions provided by communities. It also encourages social participation in building up more non-profit and affordable nurseries and kindergartens with nursery services.

The new action plan aims at enhancing the development of nursing services for children under 3 to meet increasing and diversified demand along with relaxed family planning policies and changing population scale and structure.

Chen said a key aim in the action plan is to increase supplies of affordable nursery resources and promote the integration of education, raising and medical care when taking care of children under 3.

“There has been a high demand for affordable nursery services of high quality and security,” Chen said.

“We will integrate more quality resources and mobilize social power in the next three years to further increase supplies.”

Chen said the city government had listed building 50 affordable nurseries as one of its annual projects for improving people’s well-being since 2017.

“In the following three years, we will continue to build at least 50 such facilities and encourage governments at all levels to provide venues or waive rentals to support communities, enterprises, industrial zones and office buildings to set up non-profit and affordable nurseries,” he said, adding that 49 such facilities completed construction this year.

He said the city will also strive to achieve its goal of building at least one affordable nursery in one subdistrict or town in the downtown area. By the end of 2022, the target is to have such nurseries cover at least 85 percent of subdistricts and towns around the city.

The city will continue promoting integration of nurseries with kindergartens. It aims at having half of the existing kindergartens in the city equipped with nurseries by 2022. Currently, the portion is 30 percent.

“So more public kindergartens should open nursing classes after meeting demands for kindergarten education from local residents,” said Chen. “We will also work out favorable policies to encourage more private kindergartens to set up nursing classes to benefit more families.”

Chen said the government will encourage more enterprise, social organizations and individuals to set up professional and high-quality nurseries. It will also integrate resources in communities to build up children-friendly communities and child service centers to serve nearby families.


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