Participation in the Kindergarten Subsidy Scheme
Asked by : The Hon TSANG Yok-sing
Replied by : Secretary for Education and Manpower
Regarding the participation of kindergartens in the Kindergarten Subsidy Scheme, will the Government inform this Council of :
- the number and percentage of kindergartens which have joined the Scheme at present;
- the respective numbers of kindergartens which joined or withdrew from the Scheme in each of the past two school years; and
- the measures in place to encourage non-profit-making kindergartens to join the Scheme?
|a.||There are at present 769 kindergartens in Hong Kong, out of which 470 are non-profit making. The Kindergarten Subsidy Scheme (the Scheme) is only available to non-profit making kindergartens. As at October 1999, a total of 286 kindergartens have joined the Scheme, accounting for about 61% of all non-profit making kindergartens in Hong Kong.|
|b.|| The number of kindergartens joining and withdrawing from the Kindergarten Subsidy Scheme in the 1998/99 and the 1999/2000 school years is as follows :
* Including 4 kindergartens leaving the Scheme because of closure or suspension of operation.
|c.||Since the introduction of the Scheme in the 1995/96 school year, the number of participating kindergartens has increased from 236 to 286, representing an increase of about 21%. The Government conducted a review of the Scheme in the 1997/98 school year and, taking into account the views expressed by the pre-primary education sector, introduced a number of improvement measures from the 1998/99 school year to attract more kindergartens to join the Scheme. To help minimise fluctuations in the level of assistance provided to kindergartens, the basis for calculating the rate of subsidy was changed from the number of pupils enrolled to the number of classes in operation. In addition, the Government has stipulated that all kindergartens should employ 40% Qualified Kindergarten Teachers (QKTs) by the 1997/98 school year, 50% by 1999/2000 and 60% by 2000/01. To encourage kindergartens to employ more QKTs at an earlier date than required, kindergartens employing a higher percentage of QKTs than the requirement will receive an enhanced rate of subsidy.
The Education Department has also streamlined the administrative procedures of the Scheme. For example, kindergartens are not required to re-apply annually and will continue to receive subsidies once they have joined the Scheme.
After the implementation of the revised Scheme, the number of participating kindergartens has increased from 252 to 286, representing an increase of about 13.5%. The Government has pledged to conduct a review in the 2000/01 school year to assess the effectiveness of the Scheme.