The Chinese government on Saturday said it aimed to see about 75 percent of preschool-aged children receive three years of education ahead of primary schooling by 2016, up 7.5 percent from the current ratio.
Three-year preschool education should be popularized in cities, towns and economically developed rural areas, according to a three-year plan on preschool education jointly released by the education and finance ministries as well as the National Development and Reform Commission.
The enrollment rate in less developed rural areas should be increased markedly in the next three years, the plan said.
China's 198,600 kindergartens enrolled about 38.95 million children at the end of 2013, with the enrollment rate reaching 67.5 percent, official figures show. It was up 10.9 percent from the figure three years earlier as a result of the previous three-year plan.
According to the plan, heightened support in the next three years will focus on providing preschool education for children from disadvantaged regions and impoverished families.
Efforts will be made to ease the shortage of kindergartens in towns and semi-urban areas and increase enrollment of disabled children, the plan said.
The government plans to set up a pre-school education network with government-sponsored kindergartens and private charitable kindergartens as the main forces by 2016, according to the plan, adding that preferential policies should be carried out to attract private capital into the sector.