Making preparations to send her 2-year-old son to kindergarten in Hong Kong has been the prime concern of Shenzhen homemaker Chen You, 36, since she gave birth to her second child in Hong Kong in 2009.
"I have to get my son enrolled in kindergarten in Hong Kong because he was born in the region, and he will be able to get a more Westernized, practical education and have more potential in the future," Chen said.
Compared with other parents in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, Chen had to make more detailed plans for her second child, beginning at least a year in advance, as he was born in Hong Kong, which made him eligible to attend school there.
Parents such as Chen, who is not a permanent Hong Kong resident, have to get their children ready for school interviews, teaching them how to say their names, introduce themselves and tell stories about their lives.
"Some kindergartens even require interviews with parents to make sure that the parents will be supportive and understanding enough of the schools' efforts," she said.
Since October, she has taken her son to 10 interviews in Hong Kong, traveling back and forth from Shenzhen. Once they even jammed four interviews into a single day.
Tuition fees in Hong Kong vary according to families' annual income, and subsidies are available for those with less money.