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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Organisation of centre-based ECEC


4.Early childhood education and care

4.2Organisation of centre-based ECEC

Last update: 27 November 2023

Implementation of a pilot program of reinforcement teaching with a second teacher (kindergarten teacher) in public kindergartens

The Council of Ministers approved on August 3rd, 2023, a Proposal of the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth (YPAN), for the implementation of a pilot program for remedial teaching with a second kindergarten teacher in a number of public kindergartens.

Based on research documentation as well as pedagogical criteria, the support of preschool education for issues of literacy as well as behavior is crucial for early diagnosis and prevention purposes.

This decision provides for the support of a number of public kindergartens that do not participate in the DRA.SE+ Program, (School and Social Integration Actions) (SSIA) with a second kindergarten teacher, for the coverage of remedial teaching needs, violence and delinquency as well as learning or other difficulties.

The objective of the Ministry, with the implementation of the decision, is to upgrade the quality of the preschool education programs provided, the support of kindergarten teachers with a second kindergarten teacher in the class, as well as the program of the public kindergarten reinforcement, providing individualized reinforcement teaching to children who need it.

Clarifications  regarding registrations in Pre-Primary Education for the school year 2023-2024.

After the decision of the House of Representatives to reject the impeachment by the President of the Republic of the Law on Compulsory Pre-Primary Education, if this this law finally comes into force as formulated by the Parliament, the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth (YPAN) points out the following:

  • According to Article 4 (c) of the law, during the registrations to be made in mid- January 2023 "children in Pre-Primary education, should attend public kindergartens in their district or in community kindergartens'.
  • According to the transitional provisions and article 8 of the law, all children who are of age from 4 years and 6 months to 6 years, should be enrolled in the Pre-Primary Education for the school year 2023-24.

Admission requirements and choice of ECEC setting

Day nurseries

There is no legal minimum age for a child to be enrolled in a Day nursery, whether Public, Community or Private.

Children from birth until the age of 5 years may attend Day nurseries. Parents or guardians are free to choose their preferred Daycare nursery. There are no admission requirements except in the case of Public Day nurseries, where parents or guardians have to apply to the nearest Department of Social Welfare Services office for admission, because of the limited number of places. Decisions regarding admission to Public Day nurseries depend on a number of criteria, such as whether both parents or guardians are working; whether the family is large or on a low income; whether there are problems in the family (e.g. divorced parents or guardians); and whether the family receives welfare benefits.


From the age of 5 years, children may attend Pre-primary education. Parents or guardians can apply to kindergartens in their area of residence; however, if there is no available space, they can enrol in any other kindergarten with availability.


Kindergartens have admission requirements. There are criteria to be met and procedures to be followed in order for a child aged 3 years to 5 years to attend a Public or Community Pre-primary school.

If there are available places in Public Pre-primary schools, the process of selection of children aged 3 years to 5 years  is carried out by a selection Committee in accordance with the criteria that have been approved.


Group size and child/staff ratios

Day Nurseries

Decisions on the grouping of the children by age are made by the director of the Day Nursery according to the age composition and the number of children enrolled. There are no specific regulations on the grouping of children. There are, however, regulations [The Children-Day Nurseries-Decree of 2011 (Κ.Δ.Π. 262/2011)] that lay down the following guidelines for the maximum number of children per teacher according to their age:

  • From four years old upwards, there must be a maximum of twenty-eight children per teacher;
  • From three years old upwards, there must be a maximum of twenty-four children per teacher;
  • From two years old upwards, there must be a maximum of sixteen children per teacher;
  • For infants under two years old, there must be one teacher per six children.

Day nurseries operate from 1 September to 30 July and are closed for the month of August. They also close for 12 public – national or religious – holidays.



The maximum number of pupils in a class in a Public, Community or Private Pre-primary school should be 25 or according to the size of the classroom.


Staff qualification requirements

Teachers working in Early Childhood and School Education as well as in non-university-level institutes of Higher Education in the public sector are civil servants, with their conditions of service and qualification requirements detailed in governing laws and schemes of service.


Annual, weekly and daily organisation

Day nurseries

Day nurseries operate from 1 September to 30 July and are closed for the month of August. They also close for 12 public – national or religious – holidays.

The director of the Day nursery is responsible for the organisation of time in his or her particular institution, but must use the framework of objectives set out in circulars issued by the Department of Social Welfare Services and the existing legislation.

The Elementary Education Law (Stixeiodous Ekpedefsis Nomos) provides for the operation of Public Primary education. The Public kindergartens are regulated by Regulations Κ.Δ.Π. 225/2008 and Κ.Δ.Π. 253/2012.

A typical day at a Day nursery in Cyprus begins at about 7.00 and ends at 17.00. The Day nurseries do not follow any specific daily plan laid down by the Department of Social Welfare Services. Daily activities depend on the age and number of the children. The final decision as to the daily plan rests with the Director of the Day nursery, and a timetable must be approved by the District Welfare Officer.


Lessons in Pre-primary schools start at 7.45 and finish at 13.05. In All-day Primary and Pre-primary schools, lessons continue until 16.00.