Why China’s older generation takes care of children before they can enroll in school

The average maternity leave in China is four months, while kindergartens only accept kids above age three. So during the two and a half years before the child can go to school, families bear the burden of taking care of children.

In the China Population and Development Research Center 2016 study of families with babies under age three, 70 percent hope to enroll their kids in professional nurseries, while only four percent of babies are enrolled due to lack of availability.

In countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2016 data showed the nursery enrollment rate of children under age three is 33 percent, but the rate in countries like France, Israel, and Norway reached nearly 60 percent.

For families, the insufficiency and high price forced many to rely on the older generation to take care of their children. Many also have trouble trusting nurseries as cases of child abuse have been frequently reported in recent years.

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