The children of China attend kindergarten from the age of three to five. Government regulations from 1981 dictate three separate learning levels: juniors (three-year-olds), middle (four-year-olds), and seniors (five-year-olds). The country has also set rules and regulations outlining the qualifications of kindergarten teachers.
A variety of sources provide funding for Chinese kindergarten programs—some are government-funded or government-licensed private and neighborhood programs, and others are the responsibility of work units (government-operated communities where families both work and live together—such as in a college or factory setting).
These programs tend to center on a group of children, rather than one-on-one teacher-child interaction. "Both its socialist ideals and Confucian traditions may help explain the persistence of the whole group, teacher-directed emphasis, rather than the use of individual choices and creative self-expression," writes JoAn Vaughan, a professor at Stephens College.