Pact China’s efforts to increase birth rate RE CRISIS
take care of their young children.
For Li Jiangning and his wife, both white collar workers in Beijing who originally hail from Henan Province, asking their parents to move from Henan to live in their tiny apartment in Beijing just to take care of their baby wasn’t realistic. The couple spent a month scouring for a proper childcare facility in Beijing, but were either rejected by public kindergartens due to being underage or scared off by the hefty prices of private childcare facilities. His wife had to resign to take care of their baby, according to newspaper Health News.
No department responsible
Apart from the strict age limit set by public kindergartens, the lack of private players in the childcare market is another issue that has caused the childcare shortage.
Lu, a retired principal at a Shanghai kindergarten, was frustrated by the complex and lengthy bureaucratic procedures she had to go through in order to open a certified childcare school with a private education organization.
After her application to local education authorities for a license received no response, she then applied through the Women’s Federation and the family planning commission of Shanghai, both of which told her they “had no right” to approve the application.
“No department can issue the license. No department is responsible for the supervision and management. I want to open a childcare school, and yet I don’t know which government organization to go to,” she said after six months of effort landed her right back where she started.
According to China’s education authorities, preschool education officially starts at three years of age. The schooling of 0 to 3 year-olds, therefore, is “beyond the rights” of local authorities, which is why they have stopped issuing childcare licenses.
Childcare facilities that are unable to obtain licenses from local education authorities can only turn to commerce authorities and apply for “education consulting” licenses.
This, however, does not grant them the qualification to provide meals for children or offer daycare services. The complicated progress discourages private organizations from setting foot in the childcare sector.
In the case of Ctrip, the company initially intended to run the daycare center itself, including hiring its own teachers. However, local authorities said they would have to shut it down due to the lack of qualifications. Ctrip then hired a third-party organization, claiming to have qualifications and claiming it was recommended by the government, to run
Education doesn’t matter
In the meantime, some childcare facilities are becoming notorious for hiring unqualified if not downright unacceptable “teachers” due to low monthly salaries and shoddy facilities.
A search on major Chinese hiring websites shows that the majority of childcare facilities only require that their teachers are high school graduates. Some fa facilities specifically say in their ad ads that “education doesn’t m matter” for them.
A number of childcare fa facilities even require that th their teachers have only “lower th than high school” educational b backgrounds, most likely to minimize the salary they’ll have to pay.
An anonymous netizen w wrote on popular Chinese qu question-and-answer website zh zhihu.com that she was offe fered a monthly salary of only 3, 3,000 yuan when applying for a teaching position at Ctrip’s d daycare center. She thought it was too low and rejected the offer.
Yang suggests the government include daycare services into its development plans and clarify the exact government body that supervises the area.
Some parents are also calling for more in-house daycare centers, which used to be a standard benefit at State-owned enterprises and organizations in China.
Since the 1950s, in order to boost productivity and encourage people to be committed to their work, the Chinese government asked communities, factories and public organizations to open daycare centers for preschool children. For many Chinese born in the 1970s and 1980s, going to work with their parents was a shared memory.
But with the reform of State-owned enterprises starting in the 1990s, these childcare facilities were steadily shut down.
“Companies with capabilities should be given policy support to open in-house childcare facilities,” Jian Ruiyan, a member of the Guangdong committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, told Xinhua.
Six children sit on the ground at an unlicensed private nursery in Beijing. In the box: Screenshot from surveillance video footage shows a teacher at Ctrip’s daycare center abusing a child.