Preschool education

This level of education involves children from six months to primary school age (7 years). Most preschool institutions in Serbia are public–they are founded by the State, autonomous province, or the municipality/city. However, for the past decade, the number of private preschool institutions has risen significantly, some of which also offer international programmes in foreign languages.

Preschool preparatory programme

Preschool education is not compulsory, but starting from the school year 2006/07, Serbia introduced a compulsory preparatory preschool programme for all children aged 5.5 to 6.5 years. In 2009, its duration was extended from 6 to 9 months. The preparatory preschool programme is free of charge if realized by a public kindergarten or school.

Preschool institutions

In Serbia, there are 159 state preschool institutions in 2 364 facilities and 57 private institutions. If there are no kindergartens available in a community, the preparatory preschool programme is implemented in primary schools: There is an increasing number of children of all ages receiving preschool education (in 2002 coverage was 32%, and in 2009 - 47.37%).

Children with disabilities are included in the preschool educational system, in regular and special (development) groups, and the right to education is also provided to children in hospital treatment. Members of national minorities have the right to education in their native language, bilingually, or in the Serbian language.