Twenty community-based childcare centers are set to open in Shanghai by the end of November. The facilities are being built by district governments and will be run by community groups.
Officials have announced that the centers will meet strict standards. All will be built on the ground floor away from polluted, noisy or crowded areas and will be equipped with a sleeping room, entertainment room, living room, bathroom and kitchen. They must have UV disinfection, monitor cameras in and outside, as well as conduct routine fire, safety and health checks.
The centers are a welcome addition to the city, as currently only one in five of Shanghai’s estimated 100,000 children aged two and three are in professional childcare.
Xu Feng, president of the Shanghai Women’s Federation, says the new centers are a good start in taking the weight off of grandparent caretakers but far from enough to meet demand.
Applicants hoping to admit their children to the centers, each of which can care for up to 20 one-three year olds at a time, have to provide paperwork proving they are too busy to look after their children. The centers are set to be open until 7pm and will cap tuition at less than RMB3000 a month.
[Image via Shanghai Daily]