BEIJING, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Childcare services are in strong demand for Chinese children under three years old, a health official said at a press conference on Wednesday in Beijing.
Currently, China has about 42 million children under the age of three, and one-third of them have strong demand for childcare services, said Yang Wenzhuang, an official with the National Health Commission (NHC).
The country's nursery enrollment rate of toddlers under three, however, is only about 5.5 percent, according to statistics revealed by a survey.
Having no people to look after children is a salient problem that constrains childbirth, Yang said, adding that the shrinking household size has weakened Chinese families' ability to care for the elderly and children.
More than 4,000 childcare institutions had been registered in the NHC by the end of June, and some 10,000 more are in the pipeline for application, Yang said.