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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

According to the Law on Preschool Education, an early childhood education and care (ECEC) institution at local level may have a certain number of separate units and may carry out its programme outside the institution’s main centre, through separate units for children in rural areas or through other means of reaching children in rural areas. These separate units have specific methods. Groups in a separate unit are mixed, so children of all ages participate in ECEC activities together. In addition, in areas where there are no preschool education institutions or where there are not enough children to form a preschool group, a ‘travelling kindergarten’ may be organised in a specially equipped bus. Another option is that a teacher travels to places where there are no territorially independent preschool education institutions. In both cases, teachers apply the same ECEC guidelines set out in the Fundamentals of the Preschool Education Programme.

Furthermore, as envisaged by the By-law on Special Educational Programme in Healthcare Institutions, children who are hospitalised for longer than 15 days are transferred to special preschool programmes organised in several healthcare institutions.

For children from national minority groups, preschool education and care activities can be carried out in their respective minority languages. Alternatively, activities for children from national minority groups may be bilingual or held entirely in the Serbian language if at least 50 % of parents or guardians choose this option. A preschool programme may be conducted – partly or entirely – in a foreign language, in accordance with the ECEC institution’s programme.

In addition, alternative ECEC methods, such as Waldorf and Montessori, are available in private ECEC institutions, and teachers in public institutions may use these methods as part of their programmes.