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Probe at kindergarten over charging VIP fees

By Li Qian (Shanghai Daily)

08:31, September 25, 2012

BEIJING police are investigating a privately owned kindergarten said to have illegally collected money from parents under the name of VIP fees.

It is alleged that parents were told to pay 150,000 (US$23,790) to 300,000 yuan to win a place for their children. In return, education fees would be waived.

The sum would be returned when the children left the school, but until then the kindergarten could use the money as it saw fit, yesterday's Legal Evening News reported.

But when parents heard that the contract between the Tongzhou District Harvard Cradle Kindergarten and a local property company was about to end, they asked for their money to be returned to them.

According to the newspaper that was rejected and they were told they would have to pay education fees if they wanted their money ahead of time.

But the kindergarten head surnamed Wang dismissed the allegation, saying only one parent didn't get his money back. He refused to say why he had raised funds in this way, the paper said.

An official with the Tongzhou education commission office said: "We are just in charge of the public-owned kindergartens. The pricing of the private-run ones is the job of pricing departments."

Pang Biao, a Beijing lawyer, said that by raising funds and not charging fees it was a case of illegal fundraising.
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