KINDERGARTEN fees will have to come under closer government scrutiny if operators want to benefit from a $80-million direct subsidy proposal to be discussed by the Executive Council today. The kindergarten subsidy scheme aims to improve standards and help reduce parents' school-fees burden, expected to increase by September when kindergartens are required to have at least four trained teachers in every 10 staff. This new requirement is believed to be one of the criteria for kindergartens to receive subsidies. Other requirements include the raising of entry qualifications for teachers from Form Three to Form Five and government monitoring of school accounts and fees. Kindergartens charge between $500 and $2,000 a month and without subsidies, some operators may have to double the fees to cover the cost of trained teachers. About half of the 8,000 kindergarten teachers are untrained, with the 800 kindergartens supervised by the Education Department reporting different ratios of trained teachers. Kindergartens receiving subsidies will also have to follow a new teachers' pay scale which proposes raising the salaries for most ranks, although the starting level for trained teachers would be lower than that recommended by the Education Commission. The new pay scale was suggested to bring it into line with that at childcare centres monitored by the Social Welfare Department. But the department could not guarantee the money needed to improve childcare worker salaries would be available by September. Representatives of the Democratic Party yesterday began an overnight sit-in outside the Central Government Offices after a candlelight gathering with pre-school workers to petition for a co-ordinated subsidy scheme for childcare centres. The director of the Hong Kong Council of Early Childhood Education and Services, Sansan Ching Teh-chi, said the failure to have matching subsidy schemes reflected the lack of long-term planning on pre-school education. She said that without interfering with present proposals, 'we should have a strategic planning on pre-school sector for the coming 10 years'.