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Slovakia:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

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Overview Slovakia

Contents

Slovakia:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Slovakia:Historical Development

Slovakia:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Slovakia:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Slovakia:Political and Economic Situation

Slovakia:Organisation and Governance

Slovakia:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Slovakia:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Slovakia:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Slovakia:Organisation of Private Education

Slovakia:National Qualifications Framework

Slovakia:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Slovakia:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Slovakia:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Slovakia:Funding in Education

Slovakia:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Slovakia:Higher Education Funding

Slovakia:Adult Education and Training Funding

Slovakia:Early Childhood Education and Care

Slovakia:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

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

Slovakia:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Slovakia:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

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

Slovakia:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Slovakia:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Slovakia:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Slovakia:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Slovakia:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Slovakia:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Slovakia:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Slovakia:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Slovakia:Organisation of Upper Secondary Education

Slovakia:Teaching and Learning in Upper Secondary Education

Slovakia:Assessment in Upper Secondary Education

Slovakia:Organisation of Vocational and Technical Upper Secondary Education

Slovakia:Teaching and Learning in Vocational and Technical Upper Secondary Education

Slovakia:Assessment in Vocational and Technical Upper Secondary Education

Slovakia:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Slovakia:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Slovakia:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Slovakia:Higher Education

Slovakia:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Slovakia:First Cycle Programmes

Slovakia:Bachelor

Slovakia:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Slovakia:Second Cycle Programmes

Slovakia:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Slovakia:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Slovakia:Adult Education and Training

Slovakia:Distribution of Responsibilities

Slovakia:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Slovakia:Main Providers

Slovakia:Main Types of Provision

Slovakia:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Slovakia:Teachers and Education Staff

Slovakia:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Slovakia:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Slovakia:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Slovakia:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Slovakia:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Slovakia:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Slovakia:Management and Other Education Staff

Slovakia:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Slovakia:Management Staff for Higher Education

Slovakia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Slovakia:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Slovakia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Slovakia:Quality Assurance

Slovakia:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Slovakia:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Slovakia:Educational Support and Guidance

Slovakia:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Slovakia:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Slovakia:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Slovakia:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Slovakia:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Slovakia:Mobility and Internationalisation

Slovakia:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Mobility in Higher Education

Slovakia:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Slovakia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Slovakia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Slovakia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Slovakia:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Slovakia:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Slovakia:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Slovakia:National Reforms in School Education

Slovakia:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Slovakia:National Reforms in Higher Education

Slovakia:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Slovakia:European Perspective

Slovakia:Legislation

Slovakia:Institutions

Slovakia:Glossary

Kindergartens in the Slovak Republic are founded as:

  • independent, 
  • part of a primary school with a kindergarten, 
  • organisational part of a joint school,  

Independent kindergartens prevail. 


Availability

Completion of pre-primary education in kindergartens is not compulsory. Every parent has a right to apply for admission of their child into pre-primary education at kindergartens or special kindergartens.


Founding of kindergartens 

Generally, kindergartens can be founded with at least 10 children. 

Special kindergarens can be founded  with at least 10 children and cancelled if the number drops to eight.

Headteacher can allow the maximum number of children in a class to be exceeded by maximum of two children. 


Parent fee contribution to kindergarten

Pre-primary education at kindergartens is provided for partial payment (contribution) except for kindergartens at health care facilities (e.g. at children hospitals, sanatoriums). 

Fee contribution for children one year before compulsory school attendance who go to a kindergarten  is paid by the state in the form of  allowance for education.

More information on the fee contribution to kindergartens can be found in chapter Early Childhood and School Education Funding.

Kindergartens are for all children, not only children of employed parents. 


Parents’ options

Parents of pre-school children have a possibility to choose the kindergarten. Most parents  opt for the kindergarten located at the place of their residence or as close as possible. 

The number of parents who choose kindergartens according to the kindergartens’ focus, profile, quality of provided programme, etc. increases. 

There are not any so called school regions for kindergartens (unlike for primary schools). Kindergartens are founded in municipalities as well as cities all over the Slovak Republic. 


Admission Requirements and Choice of ECEC Institution

Admission  of children into kindergarten is absolutely within kindergarten headteacher’s competence.

The kindergarten admits as a rule the children from three up to six years of age; exceptionally the child from two years may be admitted too. 
Having reached the age of two years the children may be admitted in case there are suitable material, personnel and other necessary conditions created. 

Kindergartens admit also children with special educational needs, provided the requirements for appropriate personnel, space and material are met.


Admission conditions

The kindergartens admit primarily the children who

  • aged five years, 
  • who have attained the age of six years and the beginning of school attendance of which has been postponed or the compulsory school attendance.

The other conditions for children admission to kindergartens, determined by the kindergarten headteacher, must not be discriminating and limiting the rights of children or their parents. 

The kindergartens may not show as a condition of the children admission, e.g. employment of both parents or permanent residence in the given community. They may, however, set up that in case of an increased interest in enrolment of children in kindergartens they will prefer children of employed parents, etc. 


Admission procedure

The children are admitted to kindergartens on the basis of an application submitted in writing by the parent of the child to the headteacher of kindergarten along with the statement on health state of the child made by general practitioner for children and adolescents.

In case of a child with special education needs, the parent submits, in addition to the health statement, also a statement of the respective institution of the educational counseling and prevention. In case of a child with sensual or physical disadvantages the parents’ applications are also appended statements by the specialists. 

The headteacher of kindergarten attached to a health institution admits the child who started the treatment, therapeutic stay or health promoting stay on the basis of a written recommendation of physician currently treating the child. 


Place and date of application submission

The place and time for submitting the application for the next school year is publicised by the headteacher of kindergarten in agreement with the founder on the particular kindergarten building and other publicly accessible place between 15th February and 15th March. 

In addition to the place and date the headteacher publish the conditions of admission to the particular kindergarten. 

Kindergartens admit children continually, or for the next schools year. Children are admitted continually if kindergartens have free capacities.


Adaptation and diagnostic stay of a child

In the decision on the child admission the headteacher may determine the adaptation stay or diagnostic stay of the child in kindergarten, which should not be longer than three months. 

In  kindergartens for children with special education needs the diagnostic stay may accede the period of three months, it should not be longer than one year. 

The adaptation stay serves to make the child socialization with others easier. During the adaptation stay the parent brings the child to the kindergarten gradually for one hour, two or four hours at most. In doing so he cooperates with pedagogical staff and upon taking the child from the kindergarten he provides for regular care for the child. 

As soon as the child becomes adapted to the kindergarten, upon agreement with the parent and the headteacher the child may regularly attend the kindergarten at the time agreed. At the lower adaptation ability of the child the headteacher may decide on interruption of the child’s attendance for a defined period, after having consulted it with the child’s guardian/parent parent upon his/her written request.

The diagnostic stay is defined in relation to disabled children. It also serves to determine if a particular child can be educated in the regular class as an integrated child or in a special class or special kindergarten.


Admission of children with special educational needs 

One classroom may admit at most two children with special education needs, namely those with 

  • mental, perceptual or physical handicaps, 
  • children with communication disability, 
  • maladjusted children, 
  • children with autism (hereinafter referred to as “child with health impairment”), 

The highest number of children in a classroom may be diminished by two children per each child with a health impairment. In special kindergarten class are usually children with the same kind of health impairment. 

The child may attend such a class    exceptionally only upon consent by its legal guardian and representative of the institution after diagnostic examinations aimed at identification of its special education needs to be executed by  the educational facility of educational counselling and prevention. 


Age Levels and Grouping of Children

Number of children in a class

A kindergarten is divided into classes.

The highest number of children per class in  kindergarten with full-day education and care is: 

  • 20 children per class for children aged 3 to 4 years 
  • 21 children per class for children aged 4 to 5 years 
  • 22 children per class for children aged 5 to 6 years 
  • 21 children per class for children aged 3 to 6 years 

Due to increased interest of parents to enrol their children in kindergartens it is possible for  the headteacher to admit to every classroom, in case of suitable spatial conditions, three children more above the highest number of children set up by the Education Act, exclusively in the case of : 

  • change of child’s premanent residence (if the family moves suddenly; so that the child can continue pre-primary education at the kindergarten  at the place of its new residence, 
  • admission of the child only for an adaptation or diagnostic stay in a kindergarten (this is only a temporary admission of a higher number of children which ends on the completion of adaptation of diagnostic stay of the child concerned), 
  • postponement of compulsory school attendance or  additional postponement of compulsory school attendance (so that children whose compulsory school attendance has been postponed or additionally postponed  could be admitted to the kindergarten again

While defining the number of children per kindergarten classroom the headteacher may (but need not) also consider the number of children in the classroom of children aged below 3 years. 


Enrolling children into classes 

The children who are one year befor the compulsory school attendance, are usually enrolled into a separate class. 

The children with special education needs are enrolled into classes or separate classes for children with special education needs – special classes.

The separate classes for children with special education needs cannot admit children because they come from socially disadvantaged background. 

The children from socially disadvantaged background are enrolled into classes along with the other children; if a separate class is composed exclusively of the children from socially disadvantaged background (such classes exist especially in some regions in which there is high concentration of  marginalized Roma communities), the maximum number of children per class is 16 children. 


Classes for gifted children

In kindergartens special classes may be created for development of the children’s gifts in aesthetic, intellectual or sports areas. 

The class with the gifted children may not go beyond 12 children. The enrolment to this class requires the notified consent of the parents of the child and the opinion of the facility of educational counselling and prevention. 

In the class with talented children in sports with full-day education there are two teachers working alternately and one trainer. 


Separate class for children learning languages

For children who learn a foreign language a separate class with 12 children may be created. Only teachers who meet the qualification requirements are engaged.   


Number of teachers in a class

Pre-primary education in classes with half-day education is provided by one treacher. 

Pre-primary education in classes with all-day education is provided alternately by two teacher. 

Three teachers work alternately in classes with all-day education with more than ten children younger than three years. A member of non-teaching staff helps children with dressing and self-service. 


Safety in education

The responsibility for creation of safe and hygienic conditions for pre-primary education lies with the headteacher of kindergarten. 

The safety and health protection of the child are guaranteed by educational staff of the kindergarten from the very adoption of the child up to its handing to the legal guardian or person delegated by the former. 


Number of children per teacher

The average children/teacher ratio is more than 10, but it is exclusively a statistic average. Actually, owing to the fact that about 90 % of the teachers’ working time does not overlap, According to the source from the Centre of Scientific and Technical Information in Education,  there is an average of 20,3 children per one teacher. 


Organisation of Time

Kindergarten operation

Kindergartens operate throughout the whole year.

The operation of kindergartens is defined by headteachers after a prior consultation with parents. 

Kindergartens operate, as a rule, from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., but the operation of individual kindergartens varies depending on local conditions and especially the parents demands. 

No kindergarten, however, is open before 6:00 a.m. or is close after 18:00 p.m. 



Forms of education from the perspective of organisation

The kindergartens provide for the pre-primary education in the form of full- or half-day education and care but they may be also established with a week-day or continuous education and care. At the moment, however, not a single founder makes use of either of the two forms of education and care. 

The children may attend the kindergarten for one, two, three or even four subsequent years. 


Kindergarten and successive classes

There is no system of successive classes introduced in kindergartens, that means, during the entire time of attending kindergarten the children are included in one class with the intention of strengthening social relations among children


The school year 

The school year in begins on 1 September and ends on 31 August of the next calendar year. 

The school lessons last from 1 September to 30 June to be followed by the period of summer school holidays. 

The school holidays take place also throughout the school year. There are autumn and spring holidays, mid-year holidays, Christmas and Easter holidays. 



Kindergarten operation during summer holidays 

In kindergartens, the operation outside summer holidays season is adapted to the requirements and needs of the legal guardians of the children. During the summer holidays the operation of each kindergarten is interrupted for at least three weeks due to thorough cleaning of the kindergarten premises, disinfection of environment and toys as well as the leaves taken by the staff. 

During the summer months the educational activity in kindergartens is not organized as during the formal school lessons. 

At places with several kindergartens owned by one founder the children are concentrated during the interruption in some of them. 


Organization of the Day and Week

Educational activities in kindergartens do not work on the basis of lessons or a subject system.

Educational activities take place as a continual flow of activities in the morning and in the afternoon with different content, focus and organisation. 


Forms of daily activities

Education in kindergartens is provided by means of the following forms of daily activities: 

  • play and activities chosen by children,
  • health exercise,
  • educational activity,
  • stay outdoors,
  • healthy lifestyle activities (personal hygiene, diet, rest).

Games and activities of children’s choice are classified as an independent organisational unit during the time when children are gathering in the kindergarten and leaving it in the afternoon. Emphasis is put on individual interests and needs in these activities.

Health Exercise takes place every day at a particular time, generally before a meal (usually breakfast), while observing principles of hygiene (in a well/ventilated room, or outside). It can be done more time during the day and it can take place indoors  (playing room, gym) as well as outside of kindergarten (school yard, terrace, playground, etc.). 

Educational activities are activities conveying the planned educational content. 

Educational activities can be scheduled as separate organisational units or be a part of any of the other daily activities. 

They are individual, group or mass activities of children. The duration of an educational activity must respect childrens’ abilities and needs, their developmental particularities and rules of psychohygiene. It is not strictly defined. 

Stay outside has a pedagogical, reacreational and health function. 

Elements of a stay outside include mainly spontaneous movement, free play of children’s choice and a walk off kindergarten site. It takes place every day and it can be shortened or ommitted only due to exceptionally adverse weather conditions. 

Activities connected with healthy lifestyle include meals, personal hygiene and rest.

Meals are served at fixed times. The meal times (elevenses, lunch, fourses) are determined according to kindergarten’s operating conditions. 
Rest in bed is scheduled after lunch and its duration is at least 30 minutes depending on children’s needs. 


Daily kindergarten regime     

Organisation of educational activities in kindergartens is characterised by the flexibility of altenating between sponteneous and controlled activities. 
Kindergartens arrange these daily activities into a daily regime, which:

  • provides balanced alternating between spontaneous play and controlled activities, 
  • creates sufficient space for children’s individual needs and interests,  
  • makes sure that healthy lifestyle principles are observed (regular meals, enough movement in the open air, enough movement activities and rest).

Daily regime in classes with half-day education is adjusted according to the class time schedule. 


Sample of a Daily Order – Time Schedule

Kindergarten operation: 6.30 – 17.00

Educational activities are integrated into all forms of daily activities throughout the whole day.

  • 6.30 – 9.00 children’s arrival, play and activities of children’s choice, 
  • Morning circle, greeting of the day, health exercise
  • 9.00 elevenses 
  • 9.15 – 10.00 games and activities of children’s choice/educational activities 
  • 10.00 – 11.45 stay outdoors, walk
  • 12.00 – 12.45 lunch, preparation for rest  
  • 12.45 – 14:00 rest 
  • 14.00 – 14.30 individual or group activities, play and activities of children’s choice
  • 14.30 – 15.00 fourses 
  • do 17.00 – play and activities of children’s choice


 

Legislative References

Degree No. 306/2008 on kindergarten (Decree of the Ministry of Education of the SR).
Act No. 245/2008 on education and training (Education Act) and on the change and supplement to some acts as amended by subsequent provisions (Act of the National Council of the SR).