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LCQ12: Tuition fees of government-subsidized non-profit-making kindergartens

    Following is a question by the Hon Albert Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (October 31):


     Recently, many members of the public have reflected to me that quite a number of government-subsidised non-profit-making kindergartens ("subsidised kindergartens") have increased their tuition fees in the current school year.  Although starting from the current school year, parents have received fee subsidy through education vouchers, they still find it difficult to afford the high tuition fees, and they also query why these kindergartens have increased their fees.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the names of the subsidised kindergartens which have increased their tuition fees in the current school year, and the rates of such increases;

(b) whether it knows the reasons why the subsidised kindergartens concerned have increased their tuition fees; and

(c) whether it will take measures to limit the rates of increase in the tuition fees of subsidised kindergartens; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?


Madam President,

     The Administration has started to provide direct fee subsidy to parents with children attending eligible kindergartens (KGs) through the Pre-primary Education Voucher Scheme (hereafter referred as "PEVS") from this school year onward.  The value of the fee subsidy is $10,000 per student per annum (pspa) in this school year and will progressively increase to $16,000 pspa in the 2011/12 school year.  Prior to the introduction of PEVS, kindergartens concerned may receive from the Kindergarten and Child Care Centre Subsidy Scheme (KCSS) a subsidy at an average rate of $2,300 pspa.

     Our reply to the three parts of the question is as follows:

(a) The list of non-profit-making kindergartens (NPM KGs) joining PEVS with fee increase and the rates of such increase for the 2007/08 school year is attached at the Annex.

(b) As in the previous years, individual kindergartens may submit their application for school fee adjustment annually having regard to their own operational requirements.  The reasons for fee adjustment may generally include salary adjustment for teachers, improvement to school facilities and operational expenses.  Since PEVS has replaced the KCSS to provide direct fee subsidy for parents starting from this new school year onward and the former KCSS subsidy received by KGs has not been reflected in the approved school fee of the previous year, some 83% of those KGs with approval for school fee increase need to reflect wholly or partly that part of expenditure previously covered by the KCSS subsidy in the approved level of school fee in the 2007/08 school year.

(c) Only NPM KGs and private independent kindergartens in the transitional arrangements charging a school fee not exceeding $24,000 pspa for a half-day place and not exceeding $48,000 pspa for a whole-day place are eligible to join PEVS.  This has ensured that fees charged are affordable.

     All applications from KGs for fee revision have to be approved by the Education Bureau (EDB).  Each year, EDB issues a circular memorandum to all KGs setting out the procedures for fee revision for the coming school year.  KGs are required to submit the application for fee revision in a specified form, providing details of all the expenses.  EDB would vet the applications with reference to the estimated income and expenses, as well as the financial situation of the KGs, to ensure that the school fees are maintained at reasonable limits.

Ends/Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Issued at HKT 16:23


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