The Croatian government has announced plans to expand kindergarten capacity by 26,000 places by 2026 in order to provide equal education opportunities for all children. This will be achieved through additional funding for preschool education and investment in the construction, renovation, and extension of over 500 kindergartens across the country.
The government has also been co-financing kindergartens with 70 million euros per year to prevent price increases due to inflation. Local self-government units will use allocated funds to improve services, capacities, equipment, and salaries for teachers.
During a Council session held on World Children’s Day, the Minister of Labor and Social Policy presented the Annual Awards for the Promotion of Children’s Rights in 2023. Among the winners were professors from the Faculty of Law in Zagreb who were recognized for their initiative promoting the right to a school meal, leading to government funding of one free school meal for all primary school students.
Additionally, the Minister discussed the National Action Plan for the Implementation of the European Guarantee for Every Child aimed at providing equal opportunities in health, social, and education systems. The plan is worth more than 650 million euros.
Social worker Matej Korušac from the Croatian Institute for Social Work was also recognized with an annual award for his work in child adoption. Through his efforts, five adoptions of children with developmental difficulties were achieved in just eighteen months.
Finally, construction of “Mali Princ” rehabilitation center for children with developmental disabilities was highlighted as a collaborative effort that provides social services, housing, personal assistance and therapy for over 130 members