Recently, Hunan, a populous province of China, introduced a new policy to "orderly manage to establish, combine and close down kindergartens". It is the first province in China to propose adjusting the layout of kindergartens at the provincial level.
In recent years, news of kindergarten closures around the country has been endless. In August, the education bureau of Linquan County of Anhui Province, issued a notice that 50 private kindergartens there had been closed. The same situation has also happened in Fujian and Hainan. In September, 17 private kindergartens in Longhai District of Zhangzhou City, Fujian Province, applied for closure. In November, 33 private kindergartens in Haikou City of Hainan Province were closed. Zhejiang Province has reduced 300 kindergartens in past three years.
According to the National Statistical Communique on the Development of Education in 2022, there are 289,200 kindergartens in China, down by 5,610, or 1.9%, compared with the previous year, and it is the first time since 2008 that the number has gone down.
In fact, the change in school-age population is behind the decline in the fertility rate. In 2022, 9.56 million people were born, with a birth rate of 6.77 per thousand. It is the first time since 1950 that the number of births in China has dropped below 10 million. The data visually reflects the seriousness of China's current population situation, and also indicates the challenges that the education field will face.
Kindergarten, as the first school segment to be affected, has gradually shown its impact. With the passage of time, this trend will gradually spread to primary schools, middle schools and even universities. In response to this new change, local education authorities are actively planning to adjust the school layout to ensure the optimal allocation of educational resources.