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  • Saturday, November 25, 2006

    YWCA Kindergarten Program

    The Chengdu YWCA Kindergarten Program was started in 1985 with five children by the YWCA President. It is now located in a rented facility about two blocks from the Chengdu YMCA building. It serves approximately 160 children with a head person (yuán zhǎng) and a staff of 15.

    The Kindergarten offers three major programs: (1) a regular child care type program Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, (2) special enrichment classes Monday through Thursday from 5:15 PM to 6:15 PM, and (3) a week-long child care service from Monday morning through Friday afternoon for parents who cannot care for their children during the week.The teachers have completed special training at a vocational school which is at the high school level. The program is licensed by the Department of Education which inspects the program and determines its category of service and the fees which the parents pay for the children's programs.

    There are three categories of kindergartens in Chengdu. Category A Kindergartens have the highest level of facilities and are most often privately run by a company; Category B Kindergartens are mostly owned and operated by the government for children of government employees; and Category C Kindergartens have minimal facilities and are the most affordable for parents. The YWCA Kindergarten is a Category C kindergarten.

    The program is divided into five classes by age: (1) 1.5 to 3 year olds; (2) 3-4 year olds; (3) 4-5 year olds; (4) 5-6 year olds; and (5) 6-7 year olds. The monthly fee for the youngest age group is 270 RMB Yuan (about US $34); the monthly fee for the other age groups is 245 RMB Yuan (about US $31). The fee includes lunch and dinner each day; breakfast can be secured as an option. The 20 children in the full-week program are charged 400 RMB Yuan (about US $50) each month; their program includes breakfast, lunch and dinner each day. In addition to the monthly fee, parents are charged a "special fee" yearly, or every three or four years, to improve the facility.

    Classroom activities include story telling, drawing, crafts, physical activities, games, singing, Chinese and math. Children have a nap time after lunch.

    Five Pictures of the Youngest Age Group - Under Three Years Old

    Enrichment Programs
    Parents pay extra for the special after care enrichment programs. Five programs are offered which meet twice a week from 5:15 PM to 6:15 PM. The programs are: (1) Drawing (Měishù), (2) Count with the Heart and Abacus (Xhūxīnsuàn), (3) Dance (Wǔdǎo), (4) English (Yīngyǔ), and (5) Chinese (Zhōngwén).

    One of the Special Classes is Count with the Heart and Abacus or Xhūxīnsuàn

    One of the Special Classes is Drawing or Měishù

    Four Students' Pictures Currently On Display at the Kindergarten

    Annual Fashion Show and Special Events
    The Kindergarten also holds an Annual Fashion Show with clothes the teachers make from old newspapers and magazines provided by the parents and the YMCA Public Reading Room.
    Sometimes the Kindergarten is invited to participate in a company's anniversary celebration party; the company often gives the children a small gift, like a T-shirt, at the party.


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