New standards and regulations for Shanghai nurseries released

The Shanghai government released new standards and regulations regarding nurseries for kids aged under three on Saturday, which will take effect in June.

The Shanghai government released standards and regulations regarding nurseries for kids aged under three on Saturday, which will take effect in June.

The documents were introduced as the government saw increasing demand due to the baby boom and busy parent workloads, as well as the problems seen in some facilities, such as the child abuse case reported last year in a child care center at an office of online travel service provider Ctrip.

Family should play a major role in child care to ensure the healthy growth of children, the document stated, but the government will "guide and support" social forces, enterprises, industrial zones, office buildings and individuals in providing diversified and profitable services.

It encourages local district governments to set up classes for kids aged under three when establishing new public kindergartens. It also encourages existing private kindergartens to set up such classes, and charity nurseries to expand their scope to cover more families.

The government will also guide enterprises, industrial zones and office buildings to provide nursery services for employees in the workplace and encourage communities to explore resources to take care of kids closer to home.

The government has also introduced 10 policies to support the development of the nursery market, such as providing nurseries with free and regular staff training and subsidies for other training, exemption of corporate income tax and added-value tax, and rewards for outstanding performance.

To ensure the security of kids, the nurseries should be far away from sources of pollution.

Generally, nurseries open to all should cover at least 360 square meters, and those located at workplaces or inside small communities that only serve employees or local residents should be no less than 200 square meters, according to the documents.

The basic principle is that each kid should have no less than 8 square meters of area while in the nursery.

The facilities are also asked to set up space for outdoor activities as much as possible and rooms for health checks, as well as washing and disinfecting materials.

It requires nurseries to install surveillance cameras at entrances, exits, and daily activity areas to ensure every corner is monitored. The video recordings must be kept at least 30 days.

The size of the class must be controlled to within 20 for kids aged between two and three, and no more than 15 for those younger than two.

A nursery delivering full-day or half-day service should have no more than six classes, while those of hourly service should have four classes at most.

Those in charge of nurseries are required to have at least six years of experience in pre-school facility administration, and the staff, including baby sitters, child care workers, dietitians, hygienists and security guards all have to be qualified.

The ratio between kids and staff should be kept within 7:1 in classes for children two to three years old, and within 5:1 in classes of kids aged under two so as to ensure security and high quality service.

The government said it will introduce plans for enhancing the cultivation of teachers at kindergartens and care workers at nurseries later.

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