URUMQI, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China is stepping up financial support in 2014 to boost pre-school education.
The government of Xinjiang will pump an extra 810 million yuan (133.6 million U.S. dollars) into expansion of public and private kindergartens to accommodate more children, particularly disabled and orphaned children, those from poor families and of migrant workers, according to Xinjiang's education department.
The fund will help subsidize food, books, heating, building maintenance and miscellaneous fees for rural kindergartens. All the 450,000 rural kids in Xinjiang are expected to benefit from the program.
Part of the financial support will act as subsidies for urban poverty-stricken families struggling to pay preschooling fees, said a source with the regional education department.
"In addition to enhanced training, we will also increase subsidies for 2,537 teachers working for kindergartens exercising bilingual education in the region," said the source.
The new funding is part of a subsidy mechanism initiated by China in 2013, a year in which the government allocated 800 million yuan to guarantee two years of bilingual preschooling for children in Xinjiang.