What should you know about pre-school/pre-primary education institutions in Lithuania if your child is preschool age?
At parents’ (guardians’) request, pre school education can be provided to children from birth to 6 years of age. Pre- school education (ikimokyklinis) may be provided at home, in nurseries, nurseries-kindergatens or kindergartens (in some cases in schools implementing the programs of formal education). Pre-primary education is provided for children from 5-6 years of age to the start of mandatory education, that is, 7 years (priešmokyklinis). The goal of pre-primary education is designed to assist a child to successfully prepare for school and to equalize the level of knowledge of all pre-school pupils. You may choose between a public or non-public (private) pre-school educational institution for your child to attend.
- Public (municipal) pre-school educational institutions. The vast majority of pre-school educational institutions in Lithuania were founded by municipal councils (the number of pre-school educational institutions founded by a government authority is scarce). Pre-school and pre-primary educational programs in Lithuania are carried out in the Lithuanian language. At your request and in the event of a sufficient number of interested parents and learners, educational programs can be carried out in Russian and Polish languages in the kindergartens, the by-laws of which (respecting the requests of parents and learners) provide for schooling in the language of an ethnic minority. To explore the possibility of your child to be enrolled in a kindergarten providing instruction in a particular language, you should contact municipal education departments or our consultants.
Procedure of admission to pre-school educational institutions shall be established by the municipality, therefore all information regarding the registration of children in kindergartens should be sought on the municipality’s website or at the education unit of municipal administration. To register a child in a pre-school institution, you should first fill out an application. The request is usually filled out online, particularly in big cities, or submitted to a kindergarten in person.
According to an individual procedure established in each municipality, all the requests are ‘lined up’ in the order of priority, taking into account the place of residence, the child’s siblings attending the same kindergarten, change of the place of residence, requests from other municipalities, the social status of a family, etc. It should be noted that you will be required to present a medical check-up certificate, so it is recommended to obtain the document well in advance.
Applications are only registered in the calendar year in which you want to enroll the child into kindergarten. For example, if you wish your child to start kindergarten from the September of 2016, you can only fill out the applications from the January of 2016.
Pre=school (nursery and kindergarten) and pre-primary (preprimary age group) education is granted partial public funding (a student’s basket), which is 4 hours per day or 20 hours per week. The remaining part is funded by the municipality and parents (the calculation is based on the number of days the child attended kindergarten, the meals provided, etc.).
The cost of kindergarten is calculated taking into account the actual days the child attended kindergarten, The average cost may be around 60 Euros per month.
- Admission to private kindergartens is carried out throughout the year.Depending on the internal kindergarten procedure, a child may attend kindergarten half day or on certain days a week. To enrol your child in a private kindergarten, you merely have to sign an enrolment agreement with the kindergarten administration. Private kindergartens also provide various informal education activities and language classes. In some private kindergartens, bilingual education is provided (e.g., English and Lithuanian).
The cost of private kindergartens varies from 120 Euros to 400 Euros per month.
Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipeda municipalities reimburse all the parents whose children go to private kindergartens up to 100 Euros of a monthly fee per child. To receive the compensation for children, the actual and declared place of residence of at least one of the parents has to be within the municipal territory. The reimbursable amount is paid regardless of the parents’ income. In Vilnius and Klaipėda, a request for reimbursing part of the kindergarten fee may be submitted via the private kindergarten with which an enrolment agreement has been concluded. The reimbursable amount does not change throughout the school year.
In Kaunas City Municipality, in addition to the above mentioned reimbursable amount of 100 Euros, an extra amount of 75 Euros is granted to the parents whose average family income for the last three monnths before the month for which compensation is granted does not exceed 760 Euros. The parents are requested to fill out the application in the social assistance division. The reimbursable amount remains stable for three months and can be updated every three months.
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