hinese parents have always valued education, but nowadays the push for success starts when kids are toddlers. According to bg.qianzhan.com, which analyzes the education industry, the market size of early education for children in China under six hit 347.9 billion yuan (US$50b) in 2015 and is expected to reach 415 billion yuan (US$60b) in 2016.
To cash in on the growing demand, many early education institutions are springing up, offering all sorts of educational methods and products – some legitimate, some dubious. Some institutions introduced early education classes from overseas, including some programs banned from mainstream schools. Chinese parents, eager to pursue a high-quality education for their kids no matter the cost, will pay virtually any price for such programs.
China has no specific authority in charge of controlling the market for early education, and institutions can open their doors simply by registering at the Industry and Commerce Administration. Many of the teaching staff lack a real background in education and begin work only after a short period of internal training. Experts say that both early education and kindergarten are not compulsory in China and it is hard for the government to address the chaotic market at a time when the country’s kindergartens are far from adequate.