Parents of preschool children will finally reap the benefits of the changes brought about by the change in legislation for kindergartens that was adopted this January. The introduction of the so-called free kindergarten for the second child is about to happen. From the 1st of September, the kindergarten will be free of charge for the second child, who will be enrolled in kindergarten at the same time as his or her older sibling. Every following child will also be entitled to free kindergarten, regardless of whether any other siblings are still in kindergarten.
The amendment to the law was already approved by the National Assembly at the beginning of the year. As the MPs pointed out, quality preschool education represents a solid foundation for lifelong learning, which benefits primarily children from socially disadvantaged backgrounds.
Kindergarten will be free for the second child, provided that the older child is still enrolled in kindergarten care. The same applies to any subsequent children, regardless of whether their older siblings are still in kindergarten or already in school. In practice, this means that if a family has two children, they will have to pay for kindergarten for the second child when his or her older sibling enters primary school education.
According to the new law, the government has allocated 2.2 million euros in this year’s budget for additional financing of kindergartens. Along with the amendment, the MPs also adopted a provision prohibiting the provision of preschool education and childcare to all legal and natural persons who are not entered in the register of providers of publicly valid programmes or in the register of preschool guardians. With this, the government wants to eliminate the shortcomings of the law, which became apparent due to irregularities in Ljubljana’s private kindergarten Kengurujčki (Kangaroos).