(April - September)
One of the most significant changes during the current period is related to the abolition of fees for nurseries and kindergartens. The National Assembly passed this decision with an amendment to The Local Taxes and Fees Act, in force from 1st of April, 2022.
With amendments to Ordinance 3 of February 5, 2007 on the Health Requirements for Kindergartens and Ordinance of November 18, 2008 on the Organization and Operation of Nurseries and Children's Kitchens and the Health Requirements for Them, in force from July 16, 2022, additional conditions for safety and maintenance of the outdoor space of the kindergarten were introduced.
The use of electronic devices with video displays, multimedia projectors and television for educational purposes only is regulated, in accordance with the requirements for the prevention of visual and musculoskeletal disorders and followed by age-appropriate forms of physical activity (exercises, mobile games, sports activities, dancing, outdoor walks and games, etc.). An obligation to systematically raise the qualifications of those working in nursery groups in kindergartens was introduced.
The range of persons who can hold the position of director of a nursery and work in the nursery has expanded, as in addition to nurses and midwives, persons with the professional qualifications of medical assistant and paramedic have been added. A large part of the changes in both Ordinances are related to the periodic increase in the professional qualification of those working in nurseries on topics in the field of hygiene, early childhood development, health promotion in infancy and early childhood, and first aid.
The number of children, for the upbringing and education of which is assigned one pedagogue has decreased from 60 to 40, and for every next 20 children, one additional pedagogue is assigned. Due to the shortage of medical specialists for the care of children in a nursery group, it was foreseen from January 01, 2023, as an exception, that in a nursery group in a nursery or kindergarten, at least one teacher and one babysitter can be cared for the children.
The teacher must have received training on topics from the field of early childhood development, comprehensive health promotion and first aid. The exception applies only on the condition that at least one medical specialist is assigned to the nursery. It is possible other specialists in the staff of the nursery to be included, depending on the needs of the children in the nursery. It is expressly arranged that the activities in the nursery are carried out while respecting the rights of the children.
Special attention was paid to cooperation and interaction with parents through information, counseling, parent meetings, trainings, as well as general practitioners and other specialists from the health and social system.
For the first year, a separate National programme "It's good in the kindergarten" was adopted. The national programme was developed in accordance with Priority Area 1 "Early Child Development" of the Strategic Framework for the Development of Education, Training and Learning in the Republic of Bulgaria (2021-2030). The objectives of the programme are:
- building a supportive, welcoming, safe, multicultural, interactive environment
- sharing innovative practices for carrying out activities with children and families in and outside the kindergarten and for promoting children's physical activity
- building a learning community within the kindergarten and between kindergartens
For the seventh year, the new National Programme "Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the preschool and school education system" includes institutions from the preschool education system. Modern e-learning methods will be implemented, while at the same time emphasizing the training of pedagogical specialists to search for and present appropriate content in the relevant age group.
Within the framework of the National Programme "Motivated Teachers and Qualification" it is planned to hold a National Conference on preschool education "Leading the future by the hand", as well as training pedagogical specialists employed in the system of preschool education to acquire an additional professional qualification "resource teacher".
A permanent Mechanism for cooperation of institutions on coverage, inclusion and prevention of children and students dropping out of the education system was adopted. It includes compulsory preschool and school age. The National programme "Together for Every Child" aims to support the activities of outreach teams in implementing measures for the coverage and inclusion of children in compulsory preschool and school age. State and municipal kindergartens can apply to Module 2 "Good practices for interaction with parents of children and students in compulsory preschool and school age".
National programme "Optimization of the internal structure of the staff" aims to increase the cost effectiveness of the institutions of the system of preschool and school education by optimizing the internal structure of the staff and increasing the attractiveness of the teaching profession.
National programme "Assisting municipalities for educational desegregation" was developed in accordance with priority area 5 "Effective inclusion, permanent inclusion and educational integration" of the Strategic Framework for the Development of Education, Training and Learning in the Republic of Bulgaria (2021 - 2030), as and in fulfillment of the Strategic Objectives of the Activity Programme of the Center for Educational Integration of Children and Students from Ethnic Minorities. The National Programme aims:
- Educational integration of children and students from vulnerable groups, including Roma, through implementation of activities by municipalities for educational desegregation and prevention of secondary segregation.
- Provision of a supportive educational environment, promoting positive interaction between all participants in the educational process in the conditions of non-segregated, accepting educational institutions
The National Programme "Prevention and Rehabilitation of Pedagogical Specialists" was developed in accordance with priority area 3 "Motivated and creative teachers" of the Strategic Framework for the Development of Education, Training and Learning in the Republic of Bulgaria (2021-2030). The objectives of the programme are:
- protecting the life and health of pedagogical specialists in the system of school and preschool education, improving their health and the prevention of risky socially significant and occupational diseases
- early diagnosis of possible complications after passing COVID-19
- provision of conditions for rehabilitation to restore the health of pedagogical specialists with proven illnesses.
(April - September)
By Decision № 188 of the Council of Ministers of March 5, 2021, the following were adopted:
National Program "Providing a modern educational environment", whose main objectives aimed at early childhood are: providing conditions for equal access to preschool and school education and improving the quality of the educational process and providing training in road safety by providing on outdoor and indoor playgrounds (mobile areas) in kindergartens and schools in order to reduce accidents with children and students on the roads.
National Program "We succeed together": After the regulation of the possibility for preschool children to work with the support of their parents from a distance in an electronic environment, it became necessary to support kindergartens and schools where compulsory preschool education is provided in two directions. : to share innovative practices for conducting activities with children and families inside and outside the kindergarten / school and to promote children's physical activity. This program also aims to: build a family community within the kindergarten, build a supportive, receptive, safe, multicultural, interactive environment, develop and implement effective measures to ensure a smooth transition of the child from the family environment to kindergarten.
For the sixth year, the new National Program "Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the system of preschool and school education" 2021 includes institutions from the system of preschool education. Modern e-learning methods will be integrated, while emphasizing the training of pedagogical specialists to search for and present appropriate content in the respective age group.
The National Program "Together for Every Child" this year is focused on increasing the scope of children included in preschool education, and the need for this is significantly strengthened by the amendments to the Preschool and School Education Act from 2020 compulsory pre-school education also for children over 4 years of age.
The National Program "Optimization of the internal structure of the staff" aims to increase the cost efficiency of the institutions of the preschool and school education system by optimizing the internal structure of the staff and increasing the attractiveness of the teaching profession.
The National Program "Support to Municipalities for Implementation of Activities for Educational Desegregation and Prevention for Non-admission of Secondary Segregation" has the general goal of providing municipalities with equal access to quality education for children in compulsory preschool education and students attending segregated educational institutions by implementing activities for educational desegregation and prevention to secondary segregation. The specific objectives related to the implementation of activities to provide an educational environment that encourages mutual communication between children in compulsory preschool education, students, parents and teachers, providing free transport for children in compulsory preschool education and for students attending segregated educational institutions, for training, education and socialization in non-segregated educational institutions and providing free teaching aids and materials or electronic devices for distance learning (tablets).
The Sofia Municipal Council adopted an entirely new ORDINANCE for admission of children in the municipal independent nurseries, kindergartens and in the preparatory groups in the municipal schools on the territory of Sofia Municipality in force from March 1, 2021, which determines the criteria and procedure for applying for children in nurseries and kindergartens.
(April - September)
The main priority in the work of the Ministry of Education and Science is the full scope and inclusion of children and students of compulsory pre-school and school age in the educational system, as well as ensuring equal access to education for all children and students.
The admission of children in kindergartens is a problem on the territory of some large cities in Bulgaria. Legislative and financial measures have been taken to solve this problem during the current period. The Council of Ministers has approved and is already working on a Program for construction, extension, superstructure and reconstruction of nurseries, kindergartens and schools for the period 2020-2022, which guarantees healthy and quality learning conditions in the system of pre-school and school education . The indicative budget for the current year is up to BGN 70 million. The same amount of funds are the estimated budgets for each of the next two years (2021 and 2022).
The program has two modules: module 1 "Nurseries and kindergartens - construction of new buildings, as well as extension, superstructure and reconstruction of existing" and module 2 "State and municipal schools - construction of new buildings, as well as extension, superstructure and reconstruction of existing ". Decision № 319 under Protocol № 18 of 23.07.2020 of the Sofia Municipal Council changed the criteria for admission of children to kindergartens and nurseries in Sofia, where the problem is most serious. Decree № 181 of the Council of Ministers of 31.07.2020 for approval of an additional transfer under the budget of the Sofia Municipality for 2020. Promulgated, SG, iss. 70 of 7.08.2020, in force from 7.08.2020, the Council of Ministers approved an additional transfer for other target expenditures in the amount of BGN 50,000,000 under the budget of the Sofia Municipality for construction, furnishing and equipment of kindergartens and nurseries and expropriation and purchase of land and properties to meet the needs of new places in kindergartens in the municipality.
The introduction of compulsory pre-school education for children over 4 years of age is among the government's priorities, reflected in the Government Management Program in the period 2017-2021. In this regard, increasing the scope of pre-school education and improving its quality is a priority policy of the Ministry of Education and Science, in view of the great importance of pre-school education for the prosperity of the individual and society. This is one of the changes by the amending bill to the Vocational Education and Training Act, adopted at second reading. Financial support for parents of children in early childhood and pre-school age is also provided. In addition to the prepared legislative changes, during the current period with Decision № 285 of 30.04.2020 of the Council of Ministers 21 national programs for development of education have been approved.
(January - March)
There are no ongoing reforms in this area.