China moves to improve child care services nationwide

China will increase its supply and quality of child care services through multiple channels, and establish a comprehensive interagency regulatory mechanism for the sector, according to the National Health Commission (NHC).

Kindergartens in China generally enroll children from 3 to 6 years of age, and child care services are designed to take in those under the age of 3. China has nearly 30 million children below the age of 3.

A survey has found that over 30 percent of families with children under the age of 3 require child care services, NHC official Yang Wenzhuang said on Saturday at a ceremony in Changsha, central China's Hunan Province, to kick off a monthlong national child care services publicity campaign.

Yang said that adequate child care services will help improve the national fertility rate, ensure employment among women, and benefit infant and toddler development.

In recent years, China has issued a series of guidelines on developing child care services as a way to cope with an aging social structure, and various regions are exploring measures to improve the quality of such services.

Changsha, for example, currently has a total of 706 child care services institutions, with 3.93 child care places for every 1,000 people, and a community child care institution coverage of 78.42 percent.

During this year's publicity campaign, the NHC will organize a series of promotional activities nationwide to increase awareness of child care services and encourage localities to establish such services based on local conditions.