Authorities intervene in kindergarten rent dispute

An official from the district education bureau said they would help Creativity to find places for the remaining kids at other kindergartens.
Zang Ming / Ti Gong

The Creativity Kindergarten

A private kindergarten in Songjiang District that had announced it would close next week will continue operating until at least June after local authorities stepped in to mediate a dispute between the kindergarten and parents.

The bilingual Creativity Kindergarten with around 300 students, had announced on Tuesday that it would close next Friday.

The kindergarten uses buildings rented from a textile company but a dispute over the rental fee emerged last year, leading to a lawsuit. The court recently ordered the kindergarten to return the buildings to the landlord within a month.

Hundreds of parents, angry and worried, went to the kindergarten in the past two days and confronted the operators. One mother told Shanghai Daily that the announcement had been a surprise.

“The kindergarten has a good reputation, small classes and is relatively cheap,” she said. “We heard that the landlord and the school had a dispute, but we were told that the rental contract would be valid until the end of 2024. The kindergarten claimed to have taken legal measures to ensure its future and asked parents to be at ease.”

Had it closed next Friday, parents would have had to find a new one as soon as possible, especially those with children in the final year.

A father surnamed Lu told Shanghai Daily that he had searched for a nearby kindergarten and found three with similar reputations, all of which were much more expensive.

Officials from the subdistrict government and district education bureau talked to the kindergarten operators and parents yesterday.

Wang Weiguo, legal representative of the kindergarten, said the landlord had agreed to allow the kindergarten to continue operating in the location till June 30 so that final-year students could go on to primary school without interruption.

An official from the district education bureau said they would help Creativity to find places for the remaining kids at other kindergartens.

“We will examine admission policies, charges and vacancies at nearby kindergartens and help parents to choose alternatives for their children,” said an official.

Wang said other kindergartens would talk with parents in the following months.

More discussions will be organized later.

Yang Meiping / SHINE

Children have classes in the kindergarten on Thursday afternoon.

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