Date
24 September 2017
Kindergarten operators are facing increased pressure from rising rent and higher staff salaries. Photo: HKEJ
Kindergarten operators are facing increased pressure from rising rent and higher staff salaries. Photo: HKEJ

HK kindergartens hike school fees up to 28 percent

Hong Kong has approved an average school fee increase of 8.2 percent for most kindergartens, the biggest jump in 10 years, Apple Daily reported Wednesday.

The increases range from 6 percent for kindergartens run by Yew Chung International School (YCIS) to 28 percent for Munsang College Kindergarten, a half-day school which charges lower fees.

Kindergarten operators are facing increased pressure from rising rent and higher staff salaries and from a shrinking market as more families leave Hong Kong due to its unstable political situation, the report said.

They expect fewer students from 2018, hence the need to build a buffer.

Hong Kong has 954 kindergartens, of which 773 have been allowed to raise tuition fees. Some are awaiting approval but 119 are keeping fees unchanged, according to the Education Bureau.

YCIS kindergartens will start charging HK$154,000 (US$19,869) a year for a whole-day class, nearly three times the fee for a subsidized university place.

The Peak Pre-School will charge an annual fee of HK$116,400, 5.4 percent higher than a year ago.

The annual fee at Tutor Time International Nursery and Kindergarten will go up 5 percent to HK$104,760.

Deborah English Kindergartens will charge HK$40,000 a year, up 22 percent, and Munsang College Kindergarten HK$33,670 a year, up 28 percent.

From 2005 to 2013, kindergartens kept annual increases at 1.7 percent to 4.5 percent, the report said.

Meanwhile, the Education Bureau has increased the face value of its pre-primary education voucher 14.3 percent to HK$20,010 per school year.

The program helps parents cope with the financial burden of sending a child to a kindergarten.

However, the vouchers cannot be used in private schools.

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EL/AC/RA

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