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Czech-Republic:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

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Czech-Republic:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Czech-Republic:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Czech-Republic:Funding in Education

Czech-Republic:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Czech-Republic:Higher Education Funding

Czech-Republic:Adult Education and Training Funding

Czech-Republic:Early Childhood Education and Care

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Czech-Republic:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Czech-Republic:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Czech-Republic:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Czech-Republic:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Upper Secondary Education

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Upper Secondary Education

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Upper Secondary Education

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Conservatoires (Arts Education)

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Conservatoires (Arts Education)

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Conservatoires (Arts Education)

Czech-Republic:Organisation of Follow-up and Shortened Study

Czech-Republic:Teaching and Learning in Follow-up and Shortened Study

Czech-Republic:Assessment in Follow-up and Shortened Study

Czech-Republic:Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Czech-Republic:First Cycle Programmes

Czech-Republic:Bachelor

Czech-Republic:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Second Cycle Programmes

Czech-Republic:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Czech-Republic:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Czech-Republic:Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Distribution of Responsibilities

Czech-Republic:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Czech-Republic:Main Providers

Czech-Republic:Main Types of Provision

Czech-Republic:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Czech-Republic:Teachers and Education Staff

Czech-Republic:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Management and Other Education Staff

Czech-Republic:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Czech-Republic:Management Staff for Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Quality Assurance

Czech-Republic:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Educational Support and Guidance

Czech-Republic:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Czech-Republic:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Czech-Republic:Mobility and Internationalisation

Czech-Republic:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Mobility in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Czech-Republic:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Czech-Republic:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Czech-Republic:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Czech-Republic:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Czech-Republic:National Reforms in School Education

Czech-Republic:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Czech-Republic:National Reforms in Higher Education

Czech-Republic:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Czech-Republic:European Perspective

Czech-Republic:Legislation

Czech-Republic:Institutions

Czech-Republic:Bibliography

Czech-Republic:Glossary

Geographical Accessibility

For reasons of accessibility, nursery schools (mateřské školy) have been the most numerous and consequently the smallest type of educational establishments. From the overall number of 5158 establishments, approximately half of them (2688) have the capacity of 50 children at most.

As a consequence of major social changes, the number of nursery schools was reduced between 1990–1995. The stipulation of a minimum number of children in nursery schools and in classes was an objective criterion for the further reduction of the nursery schools network in 1995 which corresponds to the continuing demographic decline. Since 2001, the number of births has been increasing again and, thus, the number of parents who are interested in their child attending the nursery school has been rising.

The number of nursery schools has slightly increased since 2007/08 (by 350), but it does not suffice to satisfy parents' demand for pre-primary education. The number of rejected applications to nursery schools increased from 2005/06 (merely 7 000) to 2013/14 (approx. 60 000), in 2014/15 it decreased to approx. 50 000. The situation in regions differes, it is unsatisfactory mainly in Prague, Central Bohemia and South Moravia regions. Organising bodies are trying, depending on financial resources, to keep increasing the capacity of nursery schools. In the last year the number of application has increased tremendously.

In 2014/15 nursery schools were attended by 84.1 % of children from the age cohort of the three-year-olds, 89.4 % from the four-year-olds and 90.5 % from the five-year-olds (plus 33.9 % from the two-year-olds, plus 18 % of the six-year-olds). Compared to 2004/05, the stated shares are lower in case four-year-olds (94.2 % in 2004/05) and five-year-olds (96.4 %); the share of tree-year-olds increased (77.3 %). In the last years the decrease occurred also in the six-year-age cohort (from 22.7 % in 2005/06) that is related to the decrasing number of postponement of compulsory school attendance. On the contrary, in the last years the share of children under 3 years of age in nursery schools is increasing (it concerns mainly two-year-old children who in the relevant school year attain 3 years).

Increasing demands on the placement of children to nursery schools were taken into account in the amendment to the Education Act issued on 1 January 2012. Currently, nursery schools are allowed to use the capacity and the time of school operation more effectively. If a child attends the school for a shorter time, another child can be accepted for the remaining time. Thus the attendance of two children can be divided between different days in a week, eventually during the day (between morning and afternoon). Furthermore, conditions for establishment of company nursery schools were simplified (for more see the section Admission Requirements and Choice of ECEC Institution).


Legislation and Bibliography:

Education Act

Yearbook of Trends. Education in the Czech Republic 2004/05-2013/14

Yearbook of Trends. Education in the Czech Republic 2005/06-2014/15



Admission Requirements and Choice of ECEC Institution

Choice of School

Parents are free to select any school at the pre-primary level. The capacity of the schools and their network are the only limitations. Most parents use services of a nursery school (mateřská škola) in the location of their residence. However, the number of parents who choose at nursery school according to the school education programme and commute with a child to a distant municipality is increasing.


Legal Entitlement to Education in the Last Year before Compulsory Schooling

The Education Act requires the municipality to ensure a place in a nursery school for any child with a permanent residence in the municipality in the year prior to his/her commencement of compulsory schooling; the head of the nursery school must give priority to such children. In the last year at public or at state nursery school (that is to say the six-year-olds and older children), education is provided for free during the period of 12 months. This limitation does not apply to children with a disability. These measures aim to even out possible differences in the socio-cultural development of children and to establish the right to pre-primary education; however, they stipulate no obligation to participate in such education.


Compulsory pre-primary education

The compulsory pre-primary education applies to a child from the beginning of the school year (September) following the child´s 5th birthday until the commencement of the compulsory school attendance. The legal guardian of a child is obliged to register the child.


Registration

The enrollment preceeding takes place between 2nd and 16th may 2017, It is up to the school head whether he/she admits the child to the school as a state administration body (an organising body must not intervene). Admission is realised through administrative proceedings. Children are admitted on the basis of written consent by the legal guardian, which is submitted to the school head together with reference to the health state of a child and confirmation about proper vaccination by a general practitioner for children and the youth (for children being registered to compulsory education the confirmation is not required). The decision not to accept the child must be properly and thoroughly justified.


Admission Criteria

Besides the conditions on admission of children to a nursery school set by the Education Act in compliance with the regulation on pre-primary education, the admission criteria are set by the school head. However, such criteria must not be in contradiction to generally binding regulations, must not be discriminatory and must not violate children's rights. In this connection, the Recommendation of Public Guardian of Rights on Execution of Rights for Just Treatment in Approach to Pre-primary Education that is not legally binding was issued. In the Recommendation, it is, for example, stated that:

  • none of the criteria can be used as unconditional;
  • a child's age can (but need not) be used as a legitimate criterion for setting the order of registered children;
  • the requirement of a child's permanent residence in the municipality can be a favourable criterion, not a conditional one;
  • the criterion of parents' employment cannot be used as a lump sum, but only as a supportive criterion in individual cases (the educational function of a nursery school should not exceed the guarding function);
  • social criteria are set by the school head; however, in individual cases, they must be properly justified;
  • the criterion favouring a sibling of an accepted child is not unlawful, however, it is perceived as a controversial one; it is up to the school head if he/she regards the criterion relevant;
  • current parents' employment in a nursery school or by the employer cannot be used as a criterion, with the exception of nursery schools that are aimed at education of children of organising body's employees or of another employer;
  • the criterion disadvantaging children whose parents are on maternity (parental) leave with a younger sibling is regarded discriminatory;
  • general rejection on acceptance of a disabled child to a nursery school is regarded as direct discrimination.


Nursery Schools for Children of Employees

The organising body can set the nursery school or its detached working place for education of children of the organising body's employees or of another employer (named as company nursery schools). The above mentioned pieces of information do not apply to these nursery schools or their detached working places. The school head, on the basis of criteria stipulated by the organising body, respectively by the inner regulation of a natural person executing the school operation, decides on the admission to a company nursery school or a detached working place. Admission criteria to a nursery school are made public beforehand by means of remote access. However, also in this case children must fulfil the condition of proper vaccination.


Admission of a Child with a Disability

The school head decides on the admission of a child with a disability on the basis of a written report of a school counselling facility, possibly of a general practitioner for children and the youth.


Legislation and Bibliography:

Act on Protection of Public Health

Education Act

Recommendation of Public Guardian of Rights on Execution of Rights for Just Treatment in Approach to Pre-primary Education



Age Levels and Grouping of Children

Pre-primary education in the nursery school (mateřská škola) comprises of 3 years:

  • in the first year the education is provided for children under 4 years of age (i. e. children who reach 4 years of age in the relevant school year);
  • in the second year for children under 5;
  • in the third year for children who turn 6, or for children who have been allowed a deferral of compulsory education.

Children can be placed into classes according to their age, or it is possible to have a class composed of children from different grades and thus to have mixed classes with children of various age groups in a nursery school. According to the report on the monitoring of curricular reform realisation in nursery schools in 2011, the heterogenous arrangement of classes in concerned schools prevailed (60 % of nursery schools).

Nevertheless, a class can have a maximum of 24 children. A class into which a child with a health disability is placed can have between 12 and 19 children. The organising body may allow an exception of up to 4 children above the permitted limit (up to 28 children in a mainstream class). The school head is obliged to ensure that the number of children who are educated at the same time does not exceed the highest permitted limit (e.g. in the case of admission of children from other nursery schools in July and August). During stays outside the area of a nursery school, there must be no more than 20 children per teacher (12 children at maximum in the case when a class has disabled children). More detailed rules on class size are connected to school capacity. A nursery school with one class must have at least 15 children; a nursery school with two and more classes must have at least 18 children per class in average. If there is only one nursery school with one class in a municipality, it must have at least 13 children; a single nursery school in a municipality with two or more classes must have at least 16 children per class in average.

The average number of registered children per class was 23.4 in the school year 2014/15. However, during inspections of the Czech School Inspectorate, there are usually 70 % of children. The average number of children per teacher is 12.6.


Legislation and Bibliography:

Annual Report of the Czech School Inspectorate for 2012/13

Decree of on Pre-Primary Education

Education Act

Yearbook of Trends. Education in the Czech Republic 2005/06-2014/15



Organisation of Time

The school year in nursery schools (mateřská škola), as in other types of schools, starts on the 1st of September of the current year and finishes on the 31st of August of the following year. Nursery schools provide education during the whole school year (from the 1st of September to the 31st of August). They may close or operate on limited hours in July or August in response to local conditions, or in both months if necessary. The school head, after consultation with the organising body, decides how long the school operation will be reduced or halted for and announces this to children's parents not less than two months in advance. During these months, it is possible to accept children from a different nursery school, but maximum up to the period for which the other nursery school interrupted its operation. However, the number of children educated at the same time must not exceed the permitted limit. This condition must be secured by the school head. If there are serious reasons, the school can be closed at other times after negotiation with the organising body.

A nursery school can organise trips for children to a healthy environment without interrupting instruction, school trips and other events related to educational activities of schools (e.g. visits to theatres).


Legislation and Bibliography:

Decree on Organisation of School Year

Decree on Pre-Primary Education

Education Act



Organisation of the Day and Week

A nursery school (mateřská škola) may operate on a whole-day (the most frequent form – 99 %), a half-day, or on a residential basis. A nursery school operating on a half-day basis provides care for children for no more than 6.5 hours daily. In a nursery school operating on a whole-day basis, classes may be half-day, or residential.

A school week in a standard nursery school lasts five days. When a child is admitted to a nursery school, the school head decides, after a discussion with the legal guardian of the child, on which days the child shall attend the nursery school and what time he/she should spend there on those days.

Hours of operation and a daily schedule are upon responsibility of the management of each nursery school. They are set on the basis of a decree of the Ministry of Health and the Framework Education Programme for Pre-primary Education:

A decree of the Ministry of Health which sets hygienic requirements for school rooms and operation of schools

The Framework Education Programme for Pre-primary Education, which states that:

  • a regular rhythm of daily activities is guaranteed; however, it should also be flexible enough to adjust the organisation of activities to any needs that arise throughout the day; the daily programme takes the children's individual needs for activity, sleep and rest into consideration;
  • children must spend sufficient time outdoors every day and the daily programme includes directed health preventive movement activities;
  • the proportion of spontaneous and directed activities in the daily programme is balanced in such a way that children have enough time and space for spontaneous play and can either finish it or continue with it later.

Services offered by a nursery school include meals (provided by school canteens, which are usually integrated into a nursery school), rest (sleep) and outdoor activities. The equipment and facilities of a nursery school reflect these requirements (including dining rooms, bedrooms and gardens as well as classrooms).

In order to protect children's health, a healthy educational environment and conditions for the healthy development of children, a nursery school cooperates with school guidance facilities, with general practitioners and with relevant unincorporated interest associations.


Legislation and Bibliography:

Decree on Organisation of School Year

Decree on Sanitary Standards in Institutions and Facilities for Education of Children and Youth

Framework Educational Programme for Preprimary Education