It is well recognized by the early childhood educationists that preschool education is important in enhancing the development of the young children as the foundation for future development and education. The human right for education has also been clearly stated in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration Education that education should be free of charge, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages (United Nations, 1948). Unfortunately, free preschool education is not experienced worldwide, and Hong Kong is one of the places that does not provide free education for children below six. In response to the call from the field and parents, the Government has eventually introduced the Pre-primary Education Voucher Scheme in 2007 to subsidize the school fees for children who attend non-profit making preschools. In the policy address of 2013, the Government stated that a committee has been setting up to examine the feasibility of free kindergarten education in Hong Kong. This announcement has aroused a lot of discussion on the possibility of implementing 15-year free education in Hong Kong. This study aims to investigate preschool teachers' views on free early childhood education in Hong Kong, and the feasibility of implementing free early childhood education in Hong Kong. The researcher interviewed 16 preschool teachers from different school districts. The results indicated that 100% of the principals supported to implement free early childhood education, and some related issues were explored: feasibility of free early childhood education in Hong Kong; modes and types of subsidies; staffs' salary scale; governance; and school placement.
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2014|