The Minister of Labor and Social Policy, Marin Piletić, has announced plans to increase the number of kindergarten places in Croatia by 26,000 by 2026. This move is aimed at providing equal opportunities for all children in the education system. The government has allocated additional funds for preschool education and invested in the construction, renovation, and extension of over 500 kindergartens throughout the country.
To prevent rising costs due to inflation, the government has also been co-financing kindergartens with 70 million euros per year. Local self-government units will use these funds to improve services, capacities, equipment, and salaries for teachers.
During a Council session held on World Children’s Day, the Minister presented annual awards for the promotion of children’s rights in 2023. Among the winners were professors from the Faculty of Law in Zagreb who initiated a campaign promoting free school meals for primary school students. This led to government funding for one free meal per student.
The Minister also discussed Croatia’s National Action Plan for implementing the European Guarantee for Every Child. This plan aims to provide equal opportunities in health, social and education systems and is worth over €650 million.
Matej Korušac, a social worker employed by the Croatian Institute for Social Work was recognized with an annual award for his work in child adoption. Through his efforts, five adoptions of children with developmental difficulties were achieved within just eighteen months.
Finally, the Minister mentioned that construction of “Mali Princ” rehabilitation center was completed through collaborative effort which provides social services, housing personal assistance therapy to over 130 members with developmental disabilities