At least 500,000 babies are estimated to be born in Shanghai as of 2011, and they will need some 500 more kindergartens, according to a member of the local political advisory body.
There are about 1,000 kindergartens in this eastern metropolis, taking care of more than 300,000 children. The expected newborns will push up the demand of kindergartens to 1,500, leaving a gap of 500, Fu Jianmin, a member of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said on Sunday at an annual session of the political body.
Fu, also principal of a kindergarten in Xuhui District of Shanghai, attributed the upcoming baby boom to people's superstitious belief that babies born in the lunar Chinese year of the pig that ranges between 2007 and early 2008 are lucky.
More than 160,000 babies were born in Shanghai last year and 170,000 others are estimated to be born this year, she said.
Fu also pointed out that Chinese born in 1980s have reached child-bearing age, which will also contribute to the baby boom.
She called for accelerating the construction of qualified kindergartens and more preferential policies in the training of teachers to meet the demand of the growing child population.
(Xinhua News Agency January 28, 2008)