Early childhood is a developmental window for the body, language, cognition, and social awareness. Offering high-quality preschool education in this period, especially focusing on disadvantaged children from poverty-stricken areas and minority groups, has extensive and profound meaning for establishing the foundation of long term development of the children, promoting equity at start point, and cutting off the intergenerational transmission of poverty. According to National long term plan for reform and development of education, in 2020, coverage of 3 years preschool education should reach 70%. It can be assumed that the majority of the remaining 30% who are not covered are those residing in remote areas in mid-west China. How to extend education coverage to these children is a major obstacle to preschool education in China. To explore ways to expand preschool education coverage in the mountainous Midwest, CDRF began early childhood development programs in Sept 2009 based on findings from field studies and experts’ analysis. The programs include nutritional improvements and early education for 3-6 year olds. The preschool education activities were implemented by having teachers attending multiple schools in a single area. Qualified early education volunteers are recruited and unused housing in villages is used as venues. After two years of exploration, the program has achieved positive outcome and was well received by the public. In 2012 the early education part of the program was officially renamed VEEC, and began public fundraising for expansion in the Midwest. As of Jan 2016, in cooperation with local governments, CDRF has established over 800 VEECs in 11 counties in 7 provinces, with over 27000 children enrolled.
About CDRFThe China Development Research Foundation (CDRF) is a public foundation initiated by the Development Research Center of the State Council (DRC). Its mission is to advance good governance and public policy to promote economic development and social progress.