China has a complex system of multiple types of preschool provision, differentfunding models, a rural-urban divide and a diverse population in relation to place oforigin, language dialects and socio economic status. In this paper we explore the complexsituation of preschool provision and implications for policy makers in China. Asthe provision of preschool education is increasingly privatized there is a concern thatchildren from low income families may not have access to quality early care and educationservices. Affordability and access to education in the early years has become amajor concern of governments concerned about equity and the development of humancapital. Case studies have been carried out in Beijing, as a developed urban centre andin Yinchuan, as a rural centre in the west of China. The data presented examines therelationship between types of service, fees charged and the income of families whoaccess these services.
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