A regulation on criteria and standards for determining the amount of funds for the fiscal sustainability of kindergartens, endorsed by the government on Thursday, aims at achieving equal criteria for co-financing early and preschool education for every child.
Under the regulation, which is adopted to ensure the long-term sustainability of financing preschool institutions, especially in less developed units of local and regional self-government, the annual amount of funds for the fiscal sustainability of kindergartens is provided to municipalities and cities for public and private kindergartens in their area.
Municipalities with a lower fiscal capacity will be entitled to greater additional funding
Education Minister Radovan Fuchs pointed out that the government was also concerned with how to make life easier for citizens on islands and in hilly and mountainous areas “for which it has foreseen an additional share, namely a percentage increase of 15% compared to other cities and municipalities.”
Funding under this financial balancing regulation is scheduled from 1 October “and is one of the forms of assistance to municipalities and cities because it will bring them additional financial relief”. A total of €17.8 million has been provided and in the state budget this year, while in the budget for 2024 it is necessary to provide €70 million, and €82.2 million in 2025.
Fuchs stated that, despite significant investments from 2017 to today, the participation rate in early and preschool education is still not satisfactory, namely “it covers 79% of preschool-age children.”
“Therefore, as one of the key investments in the education system, we have foreseen the construction of new kindergarten capacities, for which we have allocated more than €265 million so far and increased the number of kindergarten places by 13,000 in the last five years,” he said.
In the upcoming period, he announced, investments are planned for the construction of new capacities of kindergartens “for which another €260 million have been secured from European funds”.
“Thus, the total investment in new capacities will amount to about €530 million, and the number of places in kindergartens will increase by about 39,000,” he said.