Parents' choice of early childhood education services in Hong Kong: A pilot study about vouchers

Wai Kwan Gail YUEN, Susan Jane GRIESHABER

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The introduction of a voucher scheme for early childhood education in Hong Kong has resulted in significant changes in the field. This article reports data from a pilot study that aimed at understanding better how parents chose an early childhood education service following the introduction of a voucher scheme in Hong Kong. Eighty-six Chinese parents with children aged three participated in interviews and focus group discussions. This group of parents had just undergone the process of selecting a kindergarten or nursery for their children for the school year 2007-2008. The participants were from a range of socioeconomic circumstances and educational levels who had selected non-profit-making kindergartens and nurseries in public and private housing estates. The results showed that what parents looked for in their choice of service closely matched how they defined quality. Moreover, their views on quality greatly resembled the specific notion of quality that the recent reform policy has been heavily promoting. The findings point to the complex interactions among policy, choice, and practices of early childhood education. The new voucher scheme is intensifying the governing of both the self and the field, the impact of which is worrisome. Copyright © 2009 Symposium Journals Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-279
JournalContemporary Issues in Early Childhood
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009



Yuen, G., & Grieshaber, S. (2009). Parents' choice of early childhood education services in Hong Kong: A pilot study about vouchers. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 10(3), 263-279.