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EDB to provide grants to kindergartens for enhancing educational services
     The Education Bureau (EDB) issued circular memoranda today (August 27) to all kindergartens, kindergarten-cum-child care centres and schools with kindergarten classes joining the kindergarten education scheme (collectively referred to as "Scheme KGs" hereafter), announcing the details of two pilot schemes on a renovation grant and a relocation grant as well as a website enhancement grant, incurring estimated total funding of about $75 million. 
     An EDB spokesman said, "The Government has implemented the kindergarten education scheme (Scheme) since the 2017/18 school year. The policy objectives are to provide good quality and highly affordable kindergarten education, and enhance the access of students to different modes of services that suit their specific needs. To help KGs joining the Scheme to enhance the learning environment, the EDB will implement two pilot schemes for the renovation grant and the relocation grant in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 school years to alleviate KGs' financial burden in improving the school environment." 
     The spokesman said that each KG approved for the relocation grant will receive $1.5 million while each KG approved for the renovation grant will receive $500,000. It is estimated that 50 KGs will be provided with the renovation grant each year in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 school years. The EDB will take into account different factors when vetting and approving the applications, including the operating standards of the KGs, the current situation of the school premises, genuine needs, the urgency of the works, the financial position of the KGs, the sustainability of the KGs, the length of the remaining tenancy period of the school premises (if applicable) and future removal plans.
     In addition, a major focus of the Scheme is to enhance KGs' support for non-Chinese speaking (NCS) children. Parents of NCS children are encouraged to send their children to KGs with an immersive Chinese language environment as early as possible to facilitate their early exposure to and learning of the Chinese language. To assist Scheme KGs in enhancing their school websites to provide both Chinese and English school information for parents' reference, the EDB will provide a one-off website enhancement grant to all Scheme KGs in the 2020/21 school year.
     The spokesman added, "All Scheme KGs should provide basic school information in both Chinese and English, including an introduction to the school and information on admission arrangements, school fees and the school's support for NCS children. To support schools to enhance their websites, the EDB will provide each school with a grant of $10,000. If schools can provide all information on their websites in both Chinese and English, a grant of $20,000 will be provided."
     The spokesman reiterated that the EDB has been maintaining close communication with KGs to understand their needs with a view to providing support as appropriate. KGs are encouraged to make good use of the resources to enhance kindergarten educational services.
Ends/Thursday, August 27, 2020
Issued at HKT 17:09
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