Children may enter preschool once they reach the age of 3. Under special circumstances, parents may ask to enroll their two-and-a-half-year-old child. Remember that children between the ages of 3 and 5 have an automatic right to an education, but after the age of 6, education is considered compulsory.
When you believe your child is ready for preschool, you can enroll him or her in whatever preschool suits your or your child’s needs. Like the nurseries, you can choose to enroll your child in either public or private institutions. Unlike primary schools, you are not required to enroll them in a school within your catchment area.
Rules for admission to preschools
There are two stages of the recruitment process:
- Recruitment procedure
- Supplementary recruitment procedure (this is done only if there are vacancies left)
A recruitment committee selected by the school’s principal is in charge of admission. The recruitment committee members only concern themselves with spots that are available within a certain age group. Once the parents of already-enrolled children declare that they want their child to continue through to the next year, the principal can determine how many vacancies will be available in that facility for the next year.
To apply, you can either complete an application online or fill out the documents in person at the preschool. Make sure to verify what the application dates are and how many spots are available. You can do this on the District Council’s website.
Children who prove that they live within the same city as the school will be given priority, so make sure to submit these supportive documents early. If there are any vacancies left after the city residents have been settled, then children living outside the city borders can apply. To confirm residency, your supportive documentation must clearly state your place of residence.
You will be notified whether or not your child was accepted. If your child was accepted, then you will have to confirm their enrolment by signing a contract with the pre-school. If your child was not approved during the first round of applications, there will likely be a second-round during which you can apply again. Or you can apply to a private pre-school.
Time limits and the course of recruitment
- Submitting an application
The deadline to submit an application for preschool admission is most often in March, however, you should verify this information on the City Office’s website. Please make sure to include documents confirming your child meets all the necessary criteria for recruitment.
- Results of recruitment
The recruitment results are published in May.
If there are any vacancies left after the first stage of recruitment, the results will indicate the number of vacancies in the facilities closest to your address. If there are no vacancies, then you must continue on to the next stage of recruitment.
- Submission of applications and results of recruitment
State 2 is usually completed by June. If a facility has a vacancy after stage you, you can apply for a spot directly with the facility’s principal. But remember that even if there are no vacancies at this point, and your child is between the ages of 3 and 5, he/she is still guaranteed an education. So in this case, you can enroll your child in the preschool of your choice. However, if your child must adhere to compulsory schooling, then the City is required to place you in any preschool that has a vacancy, no matter your place of residence.
Filling out an application for admission to a preschool
Preschool recruitment is done electronically through the following websites:
These platforms are currently only available in Polish, so if you cannot complete the application yourself, you can:
- Ask someone you trust for help
- Go to a nearby facility and ask an employee for help
The order in which an application is received has no influence on whether the student will be admitted.
To fill out the application correctly, you must:
- Enter the details of a child and his/her parents/legal guardians
- Select a maximum of 3 facilities from the list
- Create a preference list – rank the institutions, starting with your first choice
- Mark the criteria your child meets
- Print out the application form and attach the required documents/*declaration,
- Sign and submit the application to the preschool/primary school you ranked as your first choice
*Declaring that you have met the criteria must be done under punishment of making false testimony. The declarant must include the following passage: “I declare that I am aware of the criminal liability for making a false statement.” (Article 150(6) of the Act of 14 December 2016 on Education Law). Print-out versions of declarations, constituting attachments can be found on the website where you apply for electronic recruitment.
In the event that you would like to withdraw your application from a particular school after the results are published, you can submit your withdrawal directly to that facility.
If your child received a denial of admission, you can:
- Request that the committee of that preschool justify why they refused to admit your child within 7 days from the date the results were published.
Make an appeal to the principal in opposition of the recruitment committee’s decision. This must be made within 7 days of receiving the justification.