You’re going to reach the point when your baby is not a baby anymore. At some point, you’ll both be ready to go to school. In the Czech Republic, you have choices about where to send your child for preschool. Here are a few points to consider when choosing.
Many psychologists say, that 0 to 6 are the most important years for learning. Between 3 and 6 years old, the child is learning how to make relationships with other little ones, making these years critical in social development
Here in the Czech Republic, preschool education is not just useful, it’s required. Since 2016 the Czech Republic has made preschool a required part of the Czech educational system. Children are required to attend preschool no later than 5 years old. If not, parents are subject to fines
So, which one is better for you, a state preschool or private preschool?
State preschool Advantages
Cheaper price. If you are on a budget, state preschool is a great option. Monthly fees are about 400Kc to 600 CZK per month + expenses for food (approximately 1000 CZK). It means that in many state preschools your monthly expenses can fit into 1500 CZK per month.
RVPPPV. Education in state preschool is regulated by the special educational program (Rámcový vzdělávací program pro předškolní vzdělávání). This program helps the teachers set up the educational program for the specific needs of the class. State preschool provides quality preparation of children for the primary school.
Variety of pupils. In state preschools, your kid can encounter a wider spectrum of pupils. There is a higher occurrence of children from families of different social status, which can be a very valuable real-life experience.
Educational program with the tradition. Czech preschools have years of proven experience. The curriculum is rooted in Czech Society. This inclusion into Czech culture will be a great benefit for your child, in the long run, should you choose to stay here long term!
It’s hard to get in! There is a higher demand for state preschools than for the private ones. It may be more difficult to get your child to the state preschool. You might have a problem with enrolling a young child (around 3 or 4 years old). State preschools may also require a rigid skill set for children before entry, like being able to dress and undress himself, eat without help and fit without problems into the group of children. You need to check with each one to know for sure.
Less individual approach. Larger class sizes mean less individual attention for each student.
Fewer children in the group. Private preschools are usually more intimate, so kids may get to know each other better. Smaller groups are also more conducive to a more relaxed atmosphere.
Individual approach. Due to smaller class sizes, teacher’s naturally pay more attention to each kid. This might be an important consideration depending on the developmental level of your child.
More access for kids with special needs. Private preschools may be more open to children with specific needs, who would normally not fit into larger class sizes. Private education can be the solution for children on the spectrum or those with physical needs.
Interesting activities. Private kindergartens have usually more money for special equipment. In some private preschools, you might find sophisticated interiors full of colours, equipment for ceramic creations or professional sports playground equipment. Many of them offer language lessons with native speakers to help transition to Czech
Alternative educational methods. Many private preschools offer alternative educational methods, for example, Montessori education or Waldorf education.
Higher price. Private preschools are not a cheap option. The price can be 10 times higher than in public preschools. If you choose this route, choose it wisely, it’s a big financial commitment
Short history. Some of the private preschools are quite new, and may still be in ‘start-up’ mode. They may still be evolving their educational theory or may still have churn in their staff. You’ll definitely want to search out references.
How to choose the right preschool for your child?
The decision between public or private preschool depends on many factors, like the personality of your child, the long-term plans for the family, language and more.
Do your research and ask for referrals and you’ll surely make the right decision.