Updated last year

Are you moving to China with your children? If so, you will probably have to find suitable childcare for them during your working hours. This should not be too difficult, as the country offers different types of child care. You can entrust them to a nursery, a pre-primary school or a nanny. It all depends on your child's age, your availability and financial means.

Pre-school education in China

The Chinese education system is very elaborate. It includes nurseries, kindergartens, special needs schools, primary and secondary schools. Pre-school education begins as early as one year of age, especially in large urban areas. Parent and child pre-school training programs are available for families with children starting from six months: in this case you will need to come to the kindergarten together with your child for mini-classes, including games and socialising. As for nurseries and child care centres, these generally cater for children from three months of age.

During schooling in kindergarten, your child will be introduced to learning the alphabet, numbers, rhymes and songs, etc. They will also be entitled to extra-curricular activities such as educational outings, arts & crafts classes, dance performances, competitions and so on.

Chinese kindergartens are generally administered by private companies and individual organisations. You can choose between Chinese schools and bilingual schools, including international schools. Most kindergartens in major cities will have at least one foreign teacher and international child care centres will employ more foreign staff - which can facilitate your child’s transition into the new environment.

To register your child, you must call at the school in person, producing your identification documents and proof of residence. Fees generally vary according to the level of the institution as well as the province and city you reside in. You are also recommended to come and check out the potential pre-school facility in person, talk with the teachers and even attend classes prior to signing up your child -this is common practice among Chinese parents.


If your child is above three months old, you can also hire a nanny. It is the ideal solution if you are looking for a job, have to go out for a few hours or even have a demanding full-time job. You can easily find nannies in China through local agencies, classified ads or expat parent communities and forums. A lot of nannies from the neighbouring Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia also come to work in China.

You can hire a nanny for several hours a day, on a full-time basis or have your her live with your family. With more and more women in China coming back to work early after having children, a lot of households, especially in big cities, have a live-in nanny. Fees have to be negotiated depending on the working hours, living conditions, additional benefits and so on.

 Useful links:

China Education Center
Chinese Ministry of Education

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