The Croatian government has announced plans to increase the number of kindergarten places by 26,000 by 2026 in order to provide equal opportunities for all children in the education system. This was announced by Minister of Labor and Social Policy Marin Piletić during a Council session held on World Children’s Day. The government will also invest in the construction, renovation, and extension of over 500 kindergartens throughout Croatia.
In addition, the government has been co-financing the work of kindergartens with 70 million euros per year to prevent price increases due to rising inflation. Local self-government units, as the founders of kindergartens, will invest allocated funds to improve services, capacities, equipment, and salaries for teachers.
During the same Council session, Minister Piletić presented the Annual Awards for the Promotion of Children’s Rights in 2023. Among the winners were professors at Zagreb’s Faculty of Law who were recognized for their initiative promoting free school meals for primary school students. The government has since provided funding for one free school meal per student following their efforts.
The Minister also discussed the National Action Plan for Implementing the European Guarantee for Every Child, which aims to provide equal opportunities in health, social, and educational systems. This plan is worth more than €650 million.
Another annual award was given to Matej Korušac, a social worker employed by Croatia’s Institute of Social Work. He was recognized for his work in child adoption and managed to achieve five adoptions within just eighteen months through his efforts.
Finally, Minister Piletić mentioned that construction of a rehabilitation center for children with developmental disabilities called “Mali Princ” was achieved through collaborative efforts between different organizations and institutions