The Croatian government has announced plans to increase the number of kindergarten places to 26,000 by 2026 in order to provide equal education opportunities for all children. This includes additional funding for preschool education and investments in kindergarten construction, renovation, and extension throughout the country.
In addition to this initiative, the government has been co-financing kindergarten operations 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 teacher salaries.
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 at Zagreb’s Faculty of Law who advocated for a school meal program that led to government funding for one free meal per primary school student.
The Minister also discussed the National Action Plan for the Implementation of the European Guarantee for Every Child, worth over 650 million euros. This plan aims to provide equal opportunities in health, social, and educational systems across Croatia.
A social worker 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, the Minister mentioned the construction of “Mali Princ” rehabilitation center for children with developmental disabilities which was achieved through collaborative effort. The center provides social services, housing, personal assistance and therapy for over 130 members.