Kindergartens (pre-school education)
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-kindergartens or kindergartens (in some cases in schools implementing the programmes of formal education).
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 clear majority of pre-school educational institutions in Lithuania are founded by municipal councils. Procedure of admission to pre-school educational institutions is established by the municipality, therefore all information regarding the registration of children in kindergartens can be found 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.
In kindergartens group lists are made in advance. Application submission deadlines in various institutions or municipalities may differ, but generally are accepted all year round. Pre-school generally starts in September, nevertheless, if kindergarten or municipality has free spots children can be accepted throughout entire year.
According to an individual procedure established in each municipality, all the requests are ‘lined up’ in the order of priority, considering the place of residence, the child’s siblings attending the same kindergarten, 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.
Pre-school educational programmes in Lithuania are mainly carried out in the Lithuanian language. At your request and in the event of a sufficient number of interested parents and learners, educational programmes 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.
Pre-school (nursery and kindergarten) education in public and municipality kindergartens 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.
Private (non-public) kindergartens
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 week days. 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 500 Euros per month.
Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipėda 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 months 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.
Every educational institution’s work hours may differ. In big cities public kindergartens usually work from 6:30 am until 6:30 pm.
Material prepared according to the information of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania.