THE IMPACT OF SEMI-PUBLIC VILLAGE KINDERGARTEN INITIATIVES ON MIGRANT CHILDREN IN ZHEJIANG, CHINA
Keywords:migrant children, preschool education, kindergarten, china
Migrant children’s equal access to basic education has become a heightened educational equity issue in China. The discussion of equity has mainly focused on equal access-the most basic form of equity. Equity, however, also includes input (equal distribution of resources) and output (short-term and long-term outcomes). Historically, migrant children attended unregistered private kindergartens. Results of China’s recent rural preschool reform efforts include new opportunities for migrant children to access semi-public village kindergartens as well. This qualitative study attempts to understand the impact of semi-public village kindergarten initiatives in the Zhejiang province on educational experiences of migrant children and to determine children’s developmental/learning needs, and challenges. Findings suggest that in order to achieve equitable outcomes, local educational departments need to equally distribute resources by (1) increasing the quality of semi-public village kindergartens through recruiting and retaining high quality teachers, (2) enacting developmentally appropriate curricula and pedagogy responsive to the needs and challenges of migrant children while also addressing the needs of village children, and (3) accelerating legislation in honor of the migrant population’s contribution to the transformation of the Chinese society in order to eradicate social discrimination toward migrant children.