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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Early childhood and school education funding


3.Funding in education

3.1Early childhood and school education funding

Last update: 27 November 2023



Public institutions at all levels of early childhood and school education (day nurseries, kindergartens, primary schools and secondary schools) are directly or indirectly financed by the government.

All expenses of public day nurseries are covered by the Social Welfare Services of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance. At the pre-primary, primary and secondary level of education the Ministry of Education and Culture finances in full the running of public schools, either directly or by contribution to the budgets of the Local School Boards. It pays the salaries of the teachers, covers all expenses related to the construction of school buildings and provides books and teaching materials free of charge. All other expenses, related to the maintenance and improvement of school buildings and the management and maintainance of school equipment, are met by the Local School Boards. The only exception is with the secondary technical schools where the government undertakes full and direct responsibility for their financing, without any involvement of the Local School Boards.

The government is the main contributor to the budgets of the Local School Boards, and the amount given is based on enrolment figures, the school’s position (urban/rural) and the ability of the School Board to be self-sustaining. School Boards may also have other sources of income, deriving from the management of properties and other assets belonging to schools under their responsibility. 


Financial autonomy and control

There is no financial autonomy of public schools in Cyprus. Decisions on acquiring and managing different kinds of resources, such as staff and infrastructure are taken at the central level. No area of public funding is a matter for decision-making at the school level. Schools are also not allowed to raise and use private funds.  


Fees within public education

Attendance at public day nurseries is not free of charge. Parents of children in day nurseries pay fees, which are set by the director of the day nursery and must be approved by the District Welfare Officer from the Social Welfare Services. Fees are set on a sliding scale depending on the applicant’s monthly income. There is neither a minimum nor a maximum monthly fee for day nurseries in Cyprus. Revenue from fees is payable to the Treasury.

Attendance at public kindergartens for children 4 years and 8 months -6 years old is free of charge. Parents of children 3 - 4 years and 8 months, enrolled in public kindergartens, pay a token amount of €42.00 per month towards the general expenses of the kindergarten.

Attendance at public institutions of primary and secondary education is free of charge. 


Financial support for learners’ families

A family allowance paid to all eligible families on the basis of the number of children they have can be considered as a first measure of state financial support for learners’ families. This allowance is not means-tested, but families on low income receive a higher amount. State financial support is given to learners’ families in several other ways. 

At the early childhood care level recipients of public assistance and children under the care of the Director of Social Welfare Services are exempted from paying fees in day nurseries.

At the kindergarten level families with low income or with four or more children are entitled to a reduction of €17.00 - €25.00 to the token amount of €42.00 per month that parents of children below the age of 5 years pay. Furthermore, by a decision of the Council of Ministers on 20 April 2006, a number of specific categories of parents have been exempted from their obligation of paying fees. Such is the case with parents that receive public aid; parents that have health problems and infirmities, who are subject to treatment and they do not work; and, parents of children that have been absent from the kindergarten for reasons of health (or their parents’ health), for more than one month, for the months the child has been absent. 

At the primary and secondary level of education, additionally to free education offered, the government provides financial support to pupils’ families in certain cases. At the primary education level the government subsidises the meals of those children of families in receipt of welfare benefits and of Turkish Cypriots who are attending all-day schools. At the secondary level the government provides free or subsidised transport for those children living in more remote areas. 


Financial support for families of pupils with special educational needs

The government, through the Department for Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance, grants financial support for auxiliary equipment to persons with permanent or of non-determined duration physical, mental or psychological malfunction. The support may cover transport equipment, prosthetic devices, communication aid, escort expenses etc. ( Law N. 127(I)/2000).

Special facilities are offered to pupils with special needs in the framework of special education. Public expenditure on special education was €16,860,000 in 2008, which accounted for 1.3% of the total public expenditure for the same year.


Financial support for learners

As there are no registration or tuition fees levied for attendance at public schools in Cyprus, there is no system of exemption, study grants or loans. 


Private education

Private institutions of education, in their majority, raise their funds by tuition fees determined by their owners and payable directly to the institution. Tuition fees must be approved by the Ministry of Education and Culture and they differ from institution to institution.

Since pre-primary education for children aged 4 years and 8 months -6 years old, became mandatory in 2004, private kindergartens receive financial support from the Ministry of Education and Culture. The Ministry also subsidizes the operation of private schools of religious and ethnic minority groups (Armenians, Maronites, Latins and Turkish Cypriots) living on the island. In addition, the pupils from these groups are granted subsidies by the government to attend private schools at any level of education (Decisions 57.463 of 24/02/2003 and 60.541 of 07/07/2004 of the Council of Ministers). The subsidy is paid directly by the government to the school and the amount varies from school to school. Public expenditure on private institutions and government aid for students in private institutions (at all levels of education) in Cyprus amounted to €44,302,000 in 2008. 

Private schools are free to receive gifts or grants from private sources. In a few cases of foreign language schools, financial support is given by overseas governments or organizations.  


Community day nurseries and kindergartens are partially financed by the government. The parents’ associations contribute through the payment of fees.