Admission requirements and choice of ECEC settings
With regard to nurseries (for children aged 0-3 years old), registration criteria are drafted by local governance units. According to the law on pre-university education, the following documents are required for a child to be registered in a public kindergarten: birth certificate of the child, declaration of vaccination from a healthcare center and proof of the address of the child. Parents choice of public and private nurseries and kindergartens is not restricted; parents can choose where to register their children. In cases where pubilc kindergartens or nurseries receive a higher number of requests for places than they have capacity for, places are offered on a first come first serve basis'l The remaining children, in agreement with the staff of the institution and their parents, will attend the nearest available public institutions. Kindergartens and nurseries are not usually oversubscribed, especially given that this type of education is not obligatory. However, in principle, if parents are dissatisfied with the decision of the staff of a certain institution, they can appeal to the civil courts. Such cases are very rare.
Group size and child/staff ratios
Nurseries are institutions that offer care for children aged 0-3 years. The children are not divided into age groups.
Kindergartens of both types (half day and full day) are divided into three groups. At the age of 5 years, children can attend preparatory classes. Children in the first group are those aged 3-4 years, those in the second group are those aged 4-5 years, while children of the third group/preparatory classes are 5 years old. Every child aged 3-5 years is entitled to be registered with a kindergarten to be placed in a group based on their age but registration is not obligatory.
Based on guidance from the Ministry of Education and Sports, public kindergartens group vary from maximum of 25 children in urban areas to a maximum of 10 children in rural areas. With regard to preparatory classes, in urban areas they contain no fewer thant 25 pupils and in rural ones no fewer than 10.
In terms of nursery staff, there are usually one or two members of staff, in addition to cooks and cleaners. In kindergartens there is usually one teacher per group. Other staff such as cooks or cleaning personnel are employed by local governance unit and do not fall under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Sports.
Annual weekly and daily organizations
According to the law on pre-university education, the registration of children in public kindergartens starts on the same date as registration in integrated primary and lower secondary education schools. Kindergartens operate during the whole calendaric year. Half-day kindergartens operate from 8:00 to 12:00, whereas full day kindergartens operate from 8:00 to 16:00.
During the academic year, days and weeks are organized based on the curricula approved by the Ministry of Education and Sports. During the summer period, days and weeks are organized based on the curricula drafted by the institution.
There are two types of kindergarten: half day and full day. Half-day kindergartens operate until 12 o'clock each working day and are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Full-day kindergartens operate every day until 16:00 hours, excluding Saturdays and Sundays.
Table 1: Timetable for Public full day kindergartens (Monday to Friday)
Out-of- hours provisions before lessons
Lunch break / mid morning
14:00 - 17:00
Table 2: Timetable for Public half day kindergarten
Out of hours provisions before lessons
The above timetable apply only to public kindergartens. The timetable of private kindergartens may vary.