Kindergarten fees to rise by 4.3 per cent, Education Bureau announces

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 August, 2012, 3:20am

More than two-thirds of kindergartens are set to increase their fees by an average of 4.3 per cent from next month, the Education Bureau said yesterday.

But with a rise of almost 6 per cent already imposed over the past academic year, parents - especially those from middle-income groups - say they are digging too deep into their pockets.

A total of 658 kindergartens have received approval to increase fees. Only four chose to lower their charges.

Another 240 did not change their fees, while 40 other applications are still being processed by the government, the bureau said.

Kindergarten Association president Liu Fung-heung said that the fee increases were necessary.

"If fees don't go up enough, there'd be difficulty paying teachers more, or simply covering the rent increases," she told TVB.

But Lai Tsang-hing, chairman of the Parents Association, worried the fee rises may be too high.

"Given there was already a 6 per cent average rise last year, it would add up to a total of 10 per cent in two years," Lai said.

The bureau said it considered fee increases based on factors kindergartens cited in their applications, such as salary changes, improved teacher-student ratios, and school facilities.