Place guarantee to ECEC
Care for children (ECEC) under 3 years old (0–3 years) is provided in nurseries (detské jasle, officially called zariadenia starostlivosti o deti do troch rokov veku dieťaťa - facilities of care for children up to 3 years of age). Children under 3-years of age are not legally entitled to a place or care in nurseries.
Children betwen the age of 3 to 6 attend pre-primary education in kindergartens. Kindergarten provides pre-primary education to children on the working days during the school instruction time for at least four hours a day. Kindergarten can provide pre-primary education to a child with disability for at least four hours a day upon the parent’s request.
Compulsory pre-primary education
Pre-primary education is compulsory for all children who reach the age of 5 years by 31 August. These children are given priority in the admissions process.
Children attending compulsory pre-primary education will be primarily admitted to catchment kindergartens, however, parents can choose different kindergarten for their children. Catchment kindergartens are only kindergartens founded by municipalities. Catchment kindergartens do not include church nor private kindergartens. If there is an increased demand for a place in a kindergarten, the kindergarten can determine that priority will be given to children from the respective municipality or location or to children of working parents, etc.
Legal entitlement to preprimary education
Legal entitlement to preprimary education is implemented gradually. 4-year-old children will have legal entitlement to a place in kindergarten from 2024/2025 and 3-year-old children from 2025/26.
If a catchment kindergarten does not have a capacity to admit a child and the child is not admitted to a church or a private kindergarten either, the municipality will take all the necessary steps so that the child is admitted to pre-primary education in a kindergarten founded by the municipality. If the municipality is not a founder of any other kindergarten, it will find a kindergarten, as close to the child place of residence or best-accessible by public transport, which has capacity to admit the child.
If there is a shortage of available places, the regional office of school administration will communicate with other kindergartens in the vicinity and inform the parent on available places. If there are at least ten unadmitted children, it is possible to create new fully subsidised classes on other premises than original kindergarten premises, for example, administration premises.
Care for children in the nursery is provided for a fee. The amount is determined by the founder and it is not regulated. Parents who decide to use the services of nurseries, child groups, or a childminder can apply for the childcare allowance with the Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family.
Pre-primary education is provided in kindergartens to children from the age of 3 and above. Fees are charged for the first 2 years of pre-primary education in kindergartens (for 3- and 4-year-olds).
For kindergartens founded by a municipality/town, the fee is set by the municipality in a generally binding provision. Neither the minimum nor the maximum amount is determined by law. Founders of private and church kindergartens determine the amount at their discretion.
Public kindergartens provide full-time education and care for children in compulsory school attendance free of charge. The fees in private and church kindergartens for this final year are discounted by the amount of the state contribution.
Public kindergartens provide education free of charge to children who are members of a household in material need.
In addition to the kindergarten fee, parents pay for the meals, extracurricular activities, excursions, swimming courses, or other activities their child participates in.
- Founders can decide that kindergarten fees do not need to be paid for a child:
whose kindergarten attendance was interrupted for more than 30 successive calendar days due to a documented illness or family reasons;
- who did not attend kindergarten during school holidays or because the kindergarten’s operation was interrupted by the founder or other serious reasons (in such cases, the legal guardian will pay only a proportion of the fee).