The Minister of Labor and Social Policy, Marin Piletić, announced plans to open 26,000 more places in kindergartens across Croatia by 2026 to ensure equal opportunities for all children in the education system. In addition to free school transportation and textbooks, the government’s strategic goal is to provide additional funds for preschool institutions. This follows investments in the construction, renovation, and extension of over 500 kindergartens throughout Croatia.
To prevent the rise of kindergarten prices due to inflation, the government has been co-financing the work of kindergartens with 70 million euros per year since last month. Local self-government units will invest allocated funds for improvement of services, better capacities, equipment, and salaries for teachers. The Minister presented the Annual Awards for the Promotion of Children’s Rights in 2023, including an initiative for school meals and dedicated work in child adoption.
Professor Ivana Dobrotić’s initiative, “The right of every child to a school meal,” prompted the Government to allocate funds for free school meals for all primary school students. Dobrotić expects the Government to increase subsidies for school meals and expand the number of beneficiaries to secondary school students. The initiative stemmed from a newspaper announcement about children in one school who were left without meals due to unpaid fees.
The Minister emphasized the importance of providing equal opportunities for children in Croatia’s health system, social care system, and education system through the National Action Plan for the Implementation of the European Guarantee for Every Child, worth more than 650 million euros. Social worker Matej Korušac was awarded for dedicated and professional work in the field of child adoption, having facilitated five adoptions of children with developmental difficulties in just eighteen months. Additionally, an award was presented to an association for the construction of the “Mali Princ” rehabilitation center for children with developmental disabilities.定