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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice


4.Early childhood education and care


Last update: 27 March 2024

Place guarantee to ECEC

There is no legal guarantee to a place in early childhood education and care (ECEC), but the Strategy on Early and Preschool Education (2021-2025) aims to increase participation in ECEC. The network of preschool institutions in Montenegro is composed of 22 public preschool institutions and 35 private preschool institutions. Private preschools exist mainly in larger cities (Podgorica, Budva, Bar, Tivat, Herceg Novi, Kotor, Nikšić and Ulcinj). Every child has an equal right to preschool education.

Equal access to preschool education is granted to every child and access cannot be directly or indirectly limited on the basis of gender; race; skin colour; language; religion; national, ethnic or other background; developmental difficulty and disability; social background or other personal feature or circumstance (Law on Preschool Education).

In the framework of preschool education, in the previous period, efforts were made to increase the enrolment of children in preschool education with a special emphasis on sensitive groups. We achieved this by implementing the campaign in 20 municipalities in Montenegro. In 2022, the coverage of preschool education for children increased compared to 2021, and according to the data of the MEIS system, 24,659 children were enrolled in public and private preschool institutions in Montenegro, out of which over 96% were in public institutions, which is for 7% more than in the previous year. The percentage of children with special educational needs increased by the same amount, while the enrollment of children from the Roma and Egyptian population increased by 47%. In 2023, 24.817 children will be enrolled in preschool education, which is an increase compared to the previous year. The data are extracted from the Montenegrin Education Information System.

The implementation of the "Caring Family parenting program" and expansion to new preschool institutions continued. Staff from preschool institutions were trained to work with the RE population on the topic of partnership with Roma and Egyptian families.

A detailed analysis of the needs for the expansion of interactive services with the extension of the length of stay was carried out. PSI "Đina Vrbica" opened 3 interactive services Drezga, Barutana and Beri (suburbs of Podgorica). A fourth interactive service is also planned. In one of them, the interactive service grew into a shorter three-hour program attended by all twelve enrolled children. One interactive point has been opened in Bijelo Polje, and two more are being prepared, in Plav and Budva. The number of interactive points in 2022 was 25, and in 2023 there is a total of 29.

Educational materials for children, educators and parents have been developed on the Digital School platform and are available to all children in PSI. New preschool curriculum was designed and it is proposed for the age 0 to 6. It is oriented to the following early learning areas: speech, language and communication; growing, moving; personal and social relationships; math, nature, environment and diversity in surrounding; art and creative expression. Support for the early intervention of SEN children is continuous in resource centers, and expanded in a cooperation with daily care centers, with a novelty, in terms that Family oriented early intervention is piloted in Bijelo Polje and Kotor, and introduced in resource center Podgorica. Also, Cboard application is now being used by 220 SEN children. 


In order to provide accessible, high-quality, comprehensive, culturally-tailored, inclusive ECEC services for all children in Montenegro, nearly 80% of the total costs of preschool education are provided by the state, whereas the rest is provided from fees paid by parents. Parents are obliged to pay an average of EUR 40 per month for all-day programmes and EUR 20 per month for half-day programmes. A single parent pays 50% of this cost of their child’s stay and meals in an institution, whereas the costs for children without parental care, children whose parents are beneficiaries of material family support and children from the most vulnerable groups are covered by a centre for social services on the territory where the child or the parent resides. This applies to public preschool institutions; the fees for private preschool institutions differ. The fees for private preschool institutions are determined by the institutions itself and are based on the costs of salaries and expenses.