Regarding the Kindergarten Subsidy Scheme, will the Government inform this Council :
of the method for calculating the annual subsidy to be granted to each kindergarten;
of the average total expenditure on each pupil incurred by each subsidized kindergarten per year, and the percentage taken up by teachers' salaries;
of the current percentage of the total annual subsidy granted to these kindergartens in their total expenditure per year;
of the current ratio of the annual subsidy granted to kindergartens to the amount of salaries they pay for Qualified Kindergarten Teachers per year; and
how the figures in items (b), (c) and (d) above compare to those of the major countries or territories in the Asia-Pacific Region?
To enhance the quality of kindergarten education, Government requires all kindergartens to employ at least 60% of qualified kindergarten teachers by 2000/01. The Kindergarten Subsidy Scheme (KSS) was introduced in September 1995 to assist kindergartens in meeting this target progressively without having to increase their fees substantially. The rate of subsidy received by a kindergarten was based on its actual pupil enrolment.
To ensure that the amount of subsidy received by a kindergarten would not be affected by fluctuations in enrolment, the KSS was revised in the 1998/99 school year. The subsidy is now disbursed on the basis of a class grant and calculated according to the actual number of operating classes in each kindergarten. The current KSS rate is $41,000 per class per annum.
Based on returns from kindergartens joining the KSS, the average total expenditure incurred by these kindergartens on each pupil was about $15,800 for the 1999/2000 school year, of which about 58% was spent on teachers' salaries.
Government provides financial assistance to non-profit-making kindergartens by way of reimbursement of rent, rates and Government rent, as well as payments under the KSS. In 1999/2000, total Government financial assistance accounted for some 22% of the total expenditure of kindergartens receiving these various forms of assistance. The KSS payments alone represented about 12% of the total expenditure.
The KSS payments in 1999/2000 represented some 29% of the salaries of qualified kindergarten teachers.
As Government does not have the relevant information in respect of the major countries or territories in the Asia-Pacific Region, a comparison cannot be made.