Editorial : Loopholes remain in government supervision of kindergartens

【明報專訊】IN recent years, the Education Bureau (EB) has injected a considerable amount of public money into the subsidisation of early childhood education. However, the regulation of kindergartens and school sponsoring bodies is still riddled with loopholes, resulting in a lot of irregularities. Some kindergartens that operate as a chain have, on the one hand, joined the subsidy scheme as "non-profit making" kindergartens. On the other hand, they pay "patent royalty payment" to the registered trademark owner. The total amount of royalties that they have paid over the last 5 years exceeds $16 million. Where has the money ended up? Does it involve any public money? These are questions that have drawn public attention. Problems involving kindergartens, such as overcharging miscellaneous fees, are common. Some people in the industry see preschool education as a money-spinner. They try all sorts of means to exploit the grey areas to make as much money as possible. The government should plug the loopholes in the supervision of kindergartens to ensure that subsidies are used properly.