Pre-school Education in Slovenia. Nursery school
Preschool education in Slovenia is not compulsory. There are public and private nursery schools. All public nursery schools work according to the accredited programs. Managers of private nursery schools are entitled to draw up their own programs, but they are also required to be publicly accredited. Every educator and assistant educator should have an appropriate pedagogical education, pass examinations and receive permission to work with children. Each year, the entire staff of nursery schools passes a medical examination.
Almost all nursery schools in Slovenia operate from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
A nursery school can be selected in any district. Almost every nursery school has its own web page, where you can find information about programs, their costs, and simply get an idea of a nursery school and its educators.
A list of public and private nursery schools in Slovenia according to the regions and cities is available here
A current list of vacant places, information about fees and a waiting list are available on the website of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of Slovenia krka1.mss.edus.si
After you decide on the most preferable preschool for you and your baby, you should fill in the following application form and send it to the first (most desirable) nursery school from the list. If it has vacant places, it immediately enrols a child. Otherwise, the application will be redirected to the second desirable nursery school from the list and so on.
It is best to apply for admission from February to the end of March, if you are planning to send your child to a nursery school in the same year. However, even if you moved to Slovenia in a different time of the year, you can apply to a nursery school right after the registration at the place of residence in Slovenia. If the selected nursery schools have no free places, they will prompt you on preschools that still have available places or add to a waiting list.
Notification on admission is sent by e-mail in mid-April. If the number of applications excesses the vacant places, the additional tours are likely to be announced in May and June.
In Slovenia, nursery schools accept children from 11 months. In total, there are 3 age categories:
The first age category is from 1 to 3 years, each group includes 9–12 children.
The second age category is from 3 to 4 years, each group includes 12–19 children.
The third age category is from 4 to 6 years, each group includes 17–22 children.
Fees in Nursery Schools
The fees in Slovenian public nursery schools are little different from those in private ones, from 350 to 600 euros per month, depending on the program. If you send two children at once to a nursery school, the fee for the second child will be much lower.
If at least one parent is a tax resident in Slovenia and has permanent residence registration, you can rely on a subsidy from the state that is a reduced nursery school fee. The amount of compensation depends on the total family income. To obtain a nursery school subsidy from the government, please apply to the Social Protection Centre (Centri za socialno delo).
Child Adaptation in a New Nursery School
Once enrolled into a nursery school, during the first one–two weeks, a child will spend one hour in the nursery school, a few days later the child will stay in the nursery school until lunch. And in a week or two, after the preschool teacher’s approval, the child will stay for a full day.
Cooperation with Parents
Slovenian nursery schools organize active cooperation with parents (in groups and individually): consultations and meetings are held, parents participate in the preparation of show programs, discuss menu, excursions, etc.
Parents are sure to receive all the necessary information by e-mail or phone calls. The information on the learning process can be found on a notice board at the nursery school. There are also advertisement boards where children write wishes for their parents, for example, what they would like to receive as a gift for the New Year. Children also participate in the exhibitions of handicrafts. They make gifts for their parents with their own hands.
An Example of Daily Routine in a Slovenian Nursery School
|5:30 (6:00) a.m. – 7:30 a.m.||Child care, playing with children|
|7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.||Individual learning games and group games, active games in gyms and game rooms, outdoor games, excursions.|
|1:30 p.m.||Day sleep|
|2:30 p.m.||Afternoon snack|
|3:30 p.m. to 5:00 (5:30) p.m.||Child care, active outdoor games and playing in game rooms|
Meals in Nursery Schools
Web sites of nursery schools always provide a week menu for each age category. A list of potential allergen-containing ingredients is always provided together with the menu. If your child is allergic to any food product, you need to inform your group’s preschool teacher, and your child’s menu will be changed.
An Exemplary Menu for a Junior Age Category
From 10 to 14 August 2015
Monday, 10 August 2015
Breakfast: porridge with milk, grated apple
Extra snacks: plums
Dinner: soup with leek, vegetable stew with beef, rice, seasonal salad
Afternoon snack: peach puree, crisp bun
Tuesday, 11 August 2015
Breakfast: corn porridge with milk, apple, melon, nectarine
Extra snacks: ice cream
Dinner: vegetable soup, stewed chicken fillet, mashed potatoes, green salad
Afternoon snack: 100% orange juice, bun
Wednesday, 12 August 2015
Breakfast: milk, croissant, apple
Extra snacks: apricots
Dinner: vegetable stew with beef, fruitcake, a drink
Afternoon snack: nectarine fruit puree, bread sticks
Thursday, 13 August 2015
Breakfast: wheat porridge with milk, apple
Extra snacks: watermelon
Dinner: carrot cream soup, steamed trout fillet, mashed potatoes, green salad with tomatoes
Afternoon snack: milk, sweet rolls
Friday, 14 August 2015
Breakfast: rice porridge, apple
Extra snacks: plums
Dinner: pumpkin cream soup, veal steak au jus, pasta, beet salad
Afternoon snack: apricot puree, French bread
Some words in Slovenian:
nursery school — vrtec [vrtets]
public nursery school — javni vrtec [javni vrtets]
private nursery school — zasebni/privatni vrtec [zasebni/privatni vrtets]
child — otrok [otrok]
baby — dojenček [dojenchek]
parents — starši [starʃi]
preschool teacher — vzgojitelji/vzgojiteljica [vzgoitel/vzgoitelitsa]
breakfast — zajtrk [zajtrk]
dinner — kosilo [kosilo]
afternoon tea — malica [malitsa]