China / Society

Report: Fathers are failing their preschool children

By Wang Xiaodong (China Daily) Updated: 2015-05-14 07:43

Chinese fathers are failing to play an adequate role in educating their children before they reach school age, according to a report released by the National Health and Family Planning Commission on Wednesday.

Mothers play the central role in both taking care of children and educating them before they are 5 years old, followed by grandparents, according to the China Family Development Report 2015.

For children up to age 5, 47.6 percent have their mother as the primary caregiver, and 54 percent of them have their mother as their educator, according to the report.

A further 32.4 percent, almost 1 in 3, have their paternal grandparents as the main caregiver, with 7.5 percent receiving their main care from their maternal grandparents.

In contrast, only 1.5 percent of such children have their father as the primary caregiver and 3.6 percent as the educator.

Some 11.7 percent of children between 0 and 5 have both their parents as their educators, and 7.5 percent have both parents as their primary caregivers, according to the report.

The report is based on a national survey organized by the commission last year, which covered more than 32,000 families in all 31 provincial regions on the Chinese mainland.

"For children, it is a crucial stage for their growth before age 5, and parental education, especially from the father, in this stage is very important to children," said Wang Haidong, director of family affairs at the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission is running a program to educate parents how to better educate their children.

"We will invite some experts to give training to communities to tell parents how to educate their children at an early age," Wang said. "And the program will teach men how to be good fathers, and how to better play the role of father."

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