Enrollment in kindergarten (or "školka" for short) usually takes place in May, but the specific dates are determined by the kindergartens themselves. You can typically find information about the specific enrollment dates on their websites. Admission is decided based on predetermined criteria, with priority given to older children living in the so-called catchment area.


You can find a list of kindergartens on the specialized website www.seznamskol.eu under the "Mateřské školy" category.


Criteria for kindergarten enrollment generally depend on three main factors: place of residence, the child's age, and mandatory vaccinations. Children from the catchment area of a specific kindergarten (in the city of their permanent residence) in the preschool age usually have priority for admission.


To enroll a child in kindergarten, you must ensure that all mandatory vaccinations are up to date, except for children who cannot be vaccinated due to a permanent contraindication or have proof of immunity to infection. Some kindergartens may also consider additional (their own) criteria, which can vary (e.g., having a sibling already attending the same kindergarten, etc.).


Most public kindergartens accept children starting at the age of 3, but they must first admit all children at the age of 5, as preschool attendance is mandatory at this age. Private kindergartens may admit younger children and typically have their own admission criteria.


Kindergartens require payment for tuition (for the child's stay in the kindergarten) and for meals. Additional fees may be associated with the child's stay in kindergarten, such as for various supplies, theater performances, or outings. Children attending compulsory preschool do not pay tuition.


What a child needs to know for kindergarten enrollment varies, but most kindergartens do not assess specific skills. However, basic skills are helpful for a child's experience in kindergarten. These may include responding to their name, communicating their needs, and being able to spend some time without their parents. Public kindergartens often require that children are already toilet-trained, do not use pacifiers, and can feed themselves to some extent.


Teachers at kindergartens assist with dressing and undressing the children.


How kindergarten enrollment works:


The first step in enrolling a child in kindergarten is to obtain and fill out an application. The application period typically runs from May 2nd to May 16th, but the specific dates are set by the kindergarten's governing body and should always be available on the kindergarten's website.


You can pick up the application either directly from the kindergarten, at the respective municipal or city office, or often download it from the kindergarten's website. Some cities (e.g., Brno, Plzeň, České Budějovice, and others) operate a special portal for kindergarten enrollment, where they provide the necessary information for enrolling in kindergartens in their area. These portals usually do not include information about private kindergartens.


Once you've filled out and signed the application, you need to submit it to the relevant kindergarten within the specified timeframe, along with any required attachments. You can also deliver the application to the kindergarten's data box, send it by mail, or email it with a recognized electronic signature (a simple email is not acceptable).


For the application, you will need an identification card or passport (for both the child and the legal guardian), a doctor's confirmation of mandatory vaccinations (not applicable to 5-year-olds attending compulsory preschool).


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