China\'s central government spent 34.1 billion yuan (5.52 billion US dollars) on preschool education from 2011 to May 2013, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) has said. Some of the money was spent to build kindergartens in rural areas in central and west China in order to provide greater access to preschool education in those areas, according to a MOF statement carried by Xinhua news agency. Local governments have been encouraged to create kindergarten teacher training programs in these areas as well. Some of the funding also went to disadvantaged, handicapped or orphaned children in order to ease the financial burden of attending kindergarten. Nearly 37 million children were registered at kindergartens in 2012, up 32 percent from 2009, the statement said.