Place guarantee to ECEC
Children are entitled to a place in a kindergarten from the age of 11 months. Preschool education is not compulsory.
It is the responsibility of municipalities to guarantee a place in a kindergarten to all entitled children in their respective catchment area (Kindergartens Act).
Parents have the right to opt for a programme in a public or in a private kindergarten. If a child does not get a place in a public kindergarten and/or the child has been placed on the waiting list, parents can enrol the child in a private kindergarten or in home-based provision. In this case, the municipality must co-fund the costs.
Kindergartens publish information online about the number of places, number of available places, waiting period, and time between enrolment and actual inclusion of a child in a programme. Kindergartens communicate this information to the central information point at the ministry responsible for education. The ministry then provides information about the number of children enrolled and the number of kindergarten applications for the whole country. Thus, parents can view the capacities of all kindergartens (public or private) operating in the area of a municipality.
If there is no public kindergarten in the municipality of the permanent residence of a child's parents, if the public kindergarten has no available places and/or if parents, including parents with a temporary residence status, show enough interest in enrolling enough children to constitute one class, the municipality has to start a procedure to secure additional places or make a public call for applications for a concession within 30 days.
A non-binding protocol applies. According to it, municipalities have to monitor and analyse demographics (number of preschool children by years, number of new-borns in the current year, etc.) and information about capacities. They have to develop a 5-year estimate of demographic trends and it is recommended that they map out a long-term strategy for preschool education.
The protocol sets out the actions for securing additional places in kindergartens, namely:
- set up additional rooms in existing public kindergartens;
- set up rooms for kindergarten activities in schools;
- set up rooms in other municipality-owned buildings;
- set up rooms in other educational institutions;
- acquire leases for the needs of kindergartens;
- make calls for applications for concessions;
- make calls for building new kindergartens;
- build new kindergartens through public-private partnerships.
The municipality sets the price of the kindergarten programme. The price calculation takes into account the cost of kindergarten staff, programme expenses related to material and services, as well as the cost of children's meals. The price does not include the cost of investment and major maintenance.
Kindergartens that provide a public service propose the price of the programme. The competent body of the responsible municipality has the final say. The minister responsible for education specifies the price-setting methodology.
First age group (under the age of 3 years)
Second age group (above the age of age 3 years)
Children 3 to 4 years old
|Composite classes (mixed ages)||Developmental classes||Education and care family|
Source: Ministry, responsible for education, 2022
The payment by parents is based on the price of the programme their child is attending.
Parents can call on decreased payment for children attending public kindergartens, private kindergartens with concessions, and private kindergartens maintained by the municipality.
Parents submit an application for a decreased payment to the competent social work centre in the month before their child starts kindergarten (e.g. for a child who will start kindergarten on 1 September, the application has to be submitted in August). The right to a decreased payment is then granted from the first day of the month following the application and for 12 months. The social work centre decides on the extension of this right by virtue of the position.
There are nine wealth bracket groups. The payment by parents is based on the monthly household income and income scale bracket. It is given as a percentage of the total programme price.
|Income bracket||Average income per person/month (EUR), March 2023||Payment (% of the programme price)|
|1||Up to 221.46||0|
|9||1,218.09 and above||77|
Parents with the lowest income do not pay anything; parents with the highest income pay 77% of the programme price.
Parents who do not apply for the right to decreased payment pay 77% of the programme price.
Parents receiving social assistance benefit in cash do not pay as set out in the rules on social care.
Parents with two children attending kindergarten concurrently do not have to pay for the youngest child; they do not have to pay for any additional children attending kindergarten concurrently.
Parents do not pay for children attending the short programme. This programme is free.
Parents who are not personal income taxpayers in the Republic of Slovenia pay the full price of the relevant programme.
Foster parents do not pay for foster children. The municipality of the permanent residence of the foster child covers the price of the kindergarten programme.
A social work centre can in extraordinary circumstances in which the payment would put people's well-being at risk the wellbeing of persons, or for other significant reasons, set lower payment for the kindergarten.
Private kindergartens set their own prices. A private kindergarten receives reimbursement from the state of the same amount that a public kindergarten receives in the same municipality (for the second child and any additional children from the same family). Private kindergartens receive funds from the municipalities, namely 85 % of the price of the public kindergarten decreased by the amount that parents would pay if their child attended a public kindergarten. In this way, the payments by parents for private kindergartens are subsidised, but the price for a private kindergarten can be different from the price for a public kindergarten in the same municipality.
Families of children enrolled in private kindergartens providing an officially recognised programme are entitled to the same financial assistance as the families and children enrolled in public kindergartens.