On Tuesday the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government announced an amendment to its voucher scheme for pre-primary education extending the funding to private independent kindergartens.
Announcing the amendment, Arthur Li, secretary for Education and Manpower under the HKSAR government, said such private kindergartens were required to publish their accounts if they wished to be included in the scheme.
Private independent kindergartens meeting the requirements can redeem the vouchers of parents, whose children are enrolled in these centers as of the 2007-08 school year, throughout their time at the same kindergarten.
However, a condition that their tuition fees shouldn't exceed 24,000 HK dollars (about US$3,000) per student per annum will continue.
As a positive step to encourage such kindergartens to operate on a non-profit-making basis early and benefit from the voucher scheme the HKSAR government will provide them with a one-off facilitation grant if they apply for reimbursement by next August.
The grant will be capped at 30,000 HK dollars (US$3,800) and provided on a reimbursement basis for meeting the legal, accounting or auditing costs incurred in the conversion.
(Xinhua News Agency November 15, 2006)