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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Organisational variations and alternative structures in ECEC


4.Early childhood education and care

4.5Organisational variations and alternative structures in ECEC

Last update: 27 November 2023

Drop-in centers provide occasional care for children under the age of six. They allow in particular to offer children under three years of meeting time and joint activity with other children, gradually preparing them for entry to pre-primary school.

Kindergartens provide regular care for children aged two to six, out of school or part-time school. Conceived as being an alternative to pre-primary school, qualified staff (educators of young children, assistant child nurses among others) offer activities that promote the awakening of children (physical and psychomotor development, awakening and socialization). Since the law of 26 July 2019 for a school of trust, compulsory education may, during the school years 2019-2020 to 2023-2024, be given to children aged between three and six years in a kindergarten that was open on the date of entry into force of the law.