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UK to export preschool expertise

By BO LEUNG | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-10 08:11

Preschool education institutions in the United Kingdom are being encouraged to expand into China as part of a government initiative to market British expertise abroad.

The Great Early Years campaign, which is run by the Department of International Trade, aims to send 10 representatives from UK kindergartens, preschool education chains and training providers to Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen in September.

The trade department said it thinks there is a demand for British preschool know-how in China given recent changes in Chinese policies, such as allowing all couples to have a second child.

"The UK is a world leader and has a global reputation for providing outstanding expertise, education and qualifications in the early-years sector," said Mark Garnier, a minister in the department. "There's growing demand for the UK offering, which is why we are now launching our Great Early Years education mission to China, to help UK nurseries export their services and knowledge on a global scale."

The program is designed to help British preschool educators take their brands to China, where the overall size of the industry was estimated to have been worth 193 billion pounds ($251 billion) in 2015. The market is expected to grow to 370 billion pounds by 2020.

"As an international economic department, we're encouraging businesses to take advantage of this opportunity and tap into the lucrative Asian market, as part of an outward-looking global Britain," Garnier said.

According to leading UK-based property broker Christie & Co's Business Outlook for 2017, there is a "phenomenal" amount of interest from China in the child care market, and education business owners in the UK are looking overseas for high-quality education business acquisition and investment opportunities.

Courteney Donaldson, head of child care and education at Christie & Co, told the Daynurseries website that many Chinese investors are interested in buying kindergartens in the UK because they value education so highly.

"They are also interested in partnering with British nurseries," she said. "They invest highly in their children's education. Many of them are looking to build nurseries in China."

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