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China's Preschool Education Industry Flourishes with Growing Market Demand

Date:16-11-2014

The Chinese culture has great veneration for education as is evident from its economic growth and high number of qualified people. One of the fastest growing education market segments in the country is the preschool or kindergarten system. With rise in population and increase in the middle class, the number of kindergartens has increased significantly. Both private and public kindergartens are present in the country. However, in recent years, private kindergartens have developed more rapidly than public ones. In 2012, there were 181,251 preschools or kindergartens in China. By the end of 2013, the number of preschools increased to 198,553, which represents a rise of 9.5 percent from the previous year. The number of enrollment in preschool education in kindergarten the country has also gone up in recent years.

Although the preschool education industry in China is huge, it is highly fragmented. Nevertheless, it has great potential for growth with private institutes gaining more traction than public ones. Economic development, cultural differences, population and culture are some of the factors that have a bearing on the development level of preschool education. The top five provinces that had the largest number of kindergartens in the country are Hunan, Henan, Sichuan, Shandong, and Guangdong. Shandong has the highest number of kindergartens with 18,528 kindergartens accounting for 9.3 percent of China’s total kindergartens. Henan province comes in close second with 14,485 kindergartens accounting for 7.3 percent of China’s total kindergartens.

Most of the private kindergartens are located in first tier cities where parents have the economic means to pay for expensive private preschools. Currently private preschools represent more than 60 percent of the entire kindergarten market in China. Some of the leading preschools in the country are Xiaoiujin, Golden Kids International School, Bokai, Kid Castle Educational Institute, Jinseyaolan, Etonkids Educational Group, Oriental Cambridge Education Group and Beijing Golden Cradle Potential Education Institution. Despite the rapid growth of preschools, there is still a shortage of good quality and affordable educational institutions in the country. Another challenge in the market is the shortage of kindergarten teachers. As government investment in education increases with greater emphasis on regional development of education as well as preschool education, China’s kindergarten industry is poised to flourish.

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