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Fee remission ceilings to be adjusted annually for kindergarten education

     Fee remission ceilings under the Kindergarten and Child Care Centre Fee Remission Scheme (KCFRS) will be adjusted annually to ensure there are sufficient places in kindergartens to give parents a choice, subject to the Legislative Council's funding approval, the Education Bureau (EDB) announced today (June 17).

     The Chief Executive in Council yesterday (June 16) endorsed annual adjustment of the fee remission ceilings for kindergarten education  starting from the 2009/10 school year.

     An EDB spokesman said, "The adjustment will be made on the basis of the annual weighted average fees of the non-profit-making half-day and whole-day kindergartens eligible for voucher redemption under the Pre-primary Education Voucher Scheme (PEVS).

     "More kindergarten places that are affordable within the fee remission ceilings under KCFRS will be available for needy families to choose from.

     "By reinstating an annual adjustment mechanism to the fee remission ceilings, we are launching an initiative for imminent measures to address the concern of needy families regarding the choice of affordable kindergartens," the spokesman said.

     The PEVS introduced since the 2007/08 school year is providing direct fee subsidy to about 117,000 children in the 2008/09 school year in about 820 or 85% of kindergartens. Through KCFRS, the maximum level of fee assistance including the voucher subsidy has been capped at $16,000 per student per annum for half-day kindergartens and $25,400 for whole-day kindergartens.

     "Though the PEVS is not intended to cover the full tuition fee for kindergarten education, needy families may apply for additional financial support through the KCFRS on top of the amount of the voucher dedicated towards fee subsidy."

     Consistent with the established arrangements of the KCFRS, the fee remission amount for an eligible student will be determined by the level of assistance, the actual school fee charged by the kindergarten or the fee remission ceiling, whichever is the lower, as well as the fee subsidy from the voucher.  

     Full fee remission beneficiaries who choose kindergartens charging a tuition fee above the revised fee remission ceilings will have to top up the school fee with their own funds.

     Pursuant to the ExCo decision, the EDB will prepare for an overall review of PEVS and will start the review process later this year.  The EDB will consult the stakeholders on the improvement measures in due course.

Ends/Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Issued at HKT 16:13


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