Pre-primary or preschool education is compulsory from age 6 to 7. Its purpose is to help a child prepare for successful learning according to the primary education curriculum.
Pre-primary education can be started earlier by the decision of a child’s parents, however, not earlier than when a child is 5 years old.
The content of the pre-primary education is focused on the development of the child’s general competences – social and health care, knowledge and understanding of the world, communication and artistic expression – through integrated development activities.
Pre-primary education can be provided by private, state or municipal kindergartens, school-kindergartens, schools or other institutions, as well as freelance educators or other education providers.
Admission conditions are set by those who carry out pre-primary education programs - state, municipality or private institution.
Admission to public educational institutions that carry out pre-primary education. Children in state and municipal education institutions performing pre-primary education are admitted according to the procedure and priorities of the owner (ministries, municipalities, etc.). As a general rule, the application is generally submitted to the head of the institution. However, in some municipalities, admission to educational institutions is carried out in a centralized manner through a reception system developed by the municipality. In this case, the application is filed not with the administration of the institution, but with the responsible municipality unit.
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. One might be asked to present additional documents confirming the right for the priority admission.
Application submission deadlines in various institutions or municipalities may differ. Some institutions accept applications from the 2nd of January if a child attends pre-primary educational institution same year. Pre-primary school generally starts on the 1st of September. If family returns from abroad or comes from another municipality their children are able to join pre-primary school throughout entire year. For admission parents (guardians) should contact an educational institution.
4 hours a day (20 hours a week) of pre-primary education is funded from the national or municipal budget through the “student voucher” allocation system. Parents only make a financial contribution to cover the cost of meals and learning materials, however municipalities can reduce the fees to families based on their social situation. The average cost may be around 50 Euros per month.
Pre-primary educational institutions sometimes offer extracurricular activities (visual arts, sports, language lessons, dance classes etc.), which are paid separately by parents.
The state has established 35% bigger student’s basket funding for the children with special educational needs.
Private educational institutions have separate admissions process. In case of extra spots, a child can be enrolled all year round.
- Before the admission to pre-primary educational institution parents (guardians) and an institution sign a schooling contract, which specifies, according to what kind of program the child will be schooled, start and end of the implementation of the program, and other relevant Information (e.g., holidays, child's nutrition, etc.).
- Each year parents (guardians) are required to present a medical check-up certificate.
Cost of private pre-primary educational institutions varies from 120 Euros to 500 Euros per month.
Language: Pre-primary educational programmes in Lithuania are mainly carried out in the Lithuanian language. However, some institutions have educational programmes in English, French, Russian, Polish or other languages. If a child is educated in any other language than Lithuanian, educational institutions provide not less than 4 hours of the Lithuanian language lessons per week.
For children who live further than 3km from an educational institution must be arranged transportation to the nearest institution carrying out corresponding programme.
If a child has any special educational needs she must benefit from a qualitative help of educational or other specialists (speech therapist, social pedagogue etc.).
The list of institutions conducting pre-primary education programs should be addressed in a specific municipality.
Material prepared according to the information of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania.