Attending pre-school is mandatory for all children in Cyprus since 2004 between the ages of 4 and a half to 5 and a half years, however children from the age of 3 can start attending should their parents wish them to enroll.
Attendance for a minimum period of one year is compulsory before admission to a primary school in Cyprus. The standard of teaching is typically very high for European standards.
Educational childcare in Cyprus is organised into three main categories:
- Public pre-schools are sponsored by the Ministry of Education & Culture along with the Parents Association. Children are accepted from the age of 3 to 5 years accordingly. If you would like to enroll your child, you will need to present a copy of the birth certificate when filling out the application for registration, which can be presented in person or electronically via the online portal. All children attending public preschools are taught Greek language as part of the standard program. Public nursery schools are free for children aged between 3 years and 8 months to 4 years and 8 months, with tuition fees applicable for children who are attending under that age.
- Communal pre-schools are non-profit organisations and operated through community and parental involvement. They are a great option if you have a schedule where you are able to dedicate some of your time and are living in a neighborhood with other young families. They are usually much more informal, with a flexible teaching program. The fees involved with community pre-schools are usually nominal and can be reduced effectively should you wish to volunteer your time.
- Private pre-schools have an educational program approved by the Ministry of Education & Culture. This option is popular among foreign nationals who wish for their children to be taught languages other than Greek. English, Arabic and Swedish speaking nurseries are the most popular private language pre-schools. Fees for private institutions are approximately €3,090 per year.
Opening hours & public holidays
Public pre-schools are open from 7:45am – 1:00pm, Monday to Friday, whilst community nurseries can extend their hours up to 3:00pm, with some offering all day arrangements. Public holidays are adhered to in Public Nursery Schools the same as in Primary Schools, however community and private pre-schools are not obliged to follow to the same schedule.