Kindergartens

In Ukrainian kindergartenKindergarten is the elementary (or pre-entry) level of the Ukrainian educational system. Kids from 3 to 7 are guaranteed by the Constitution to get access to education in the appropriate institutions. It is voluntary for children under 5 and mandatory for the elders to get admission to the entry school at 6 or 7.

Given the elementary education was free-will before 2010 and many kindergarten buildings were privatized and changed their profile in 90-s, the system struggles. The state institutions are overcrowded (about 30 people in a group commonly), so parents have often to bribe to get their children to a kindergarten anyway. Well-off families opt for private service. Small groups (up to 10 people), excellent facilities, classes on foreign languages, arts, sport, augmented menu – are distinguishing features of commercial kindergartens. There is usually admission fee for UAH 1500-9000 and monthly fee for UAH 1500-8000. The only problem for expats seems to be certain lack of foreign-language speaking institutions. Fortunately, commercial kindergartens are rather flexible, so expat mammies may join up their kids to make up English-speaking groups.  

There are also institutions for kids at some religious societies and privately initiated mini-kindergartens. The latter are set up by one or two women, performing as an educator, a cooker, a cleaner and a nurse as one, in spacious private apartments. The religious establishments commonly are financed up by the related societies. In Kyiv mini-kindergartens ask for UAH 1500-2000 monthly fee an overage. (The price is rough as long as such organizations are illegal and don’t advertise themselves.)

There has been severe public dispute whether to get little children to kindergartens. If your child is not going to proceed education in Ukrainian secondary school, you may relax and follow your heart. But if he/she is, 1-year attendance of elementary school is obligatory.

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