Educational authorities in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of China introduced an early childhood education voucher system in 2007 with two implicit goals: To turn profit kindergartens into non-profit ones and to curtail parental choice. This initiative has caused a great deal of controversy locally and internationally, so the development of the voucher theory and practice in the Chinese context has become an interesting case to study. To investigate public views in Hong Kong on how well this voucher scheme adapts to local needs and to the local context, we collected Internet posts and analysed all the views presented in both Chinese and English virtual communities. Content and statistical analyses were conducted on the search results, and it was found that (1) there is overwhelming support for the voucher system; and (2) there is a range of opposing or supporting opinions and rationales on the two implicit goals. Based on the results, this unique Hong Kong voucher scheme is judged to be a rationally localised development of the voucher theory. The sociocontextual factors that shape the policy-making process are discussed, and the implications of this policy beyond Hong Kong and the field of ECE are also addressed.
- early education vouchers
- Hong Kong