Pre-primary Education

Understand the choices you have as a parent of pre-school children in Bulgaria...

Nurseries (Детски ясли)/crèches

Nurseries/crèches are available to take care of and educate children from three months to three years. There are a number of different options for parents to choose from:

Day nurseries (дневни ясли): Toddlers from three months to three years can attend from Monday to Friday. There are special groups for babies aged three to nine months known as "suckling groups” (кърмачески групи). 
Boarding nurseries (седмични ясли): Toddlers from ten months to three years stay at these nursery schools from Monday to Friday. Parents can come and pick them up at any time during the week.
Mixed nurseries (смесени ясли): Children are divided into day nursery groups and boarding nursery groups.

To enrol at a nursery, parents will need to provide the following:

  • An application form
  • A birth certificate
  • The medical status register (Лична амбулаторна карта) which every child has from birth
  • Test results for pathogenic intestinal diseases and intestinal parasites (these must be negative). For children under one year parents must also provide the results of a test for Escherichia coli. These tests must be carried out 15 days before the child starts nursery school
  • Urine and blood tests of the child, done up to one month before the child goes to the nursery school

Kindergartens (Детски градини)/pre-school

Kindergartens in Bulgaria are available for toddlers from three years onward until they start primary school. There are part-time (полудневни), full-time (целодневни) and boarding kindergartens (седмични детски градини). Foreign citizens resident in Bulgaria have the right to enrol their child in a public kindergarten, however, in some major cities, for example Sofia and Varna, there is a shortage of places.

Each municipality agrees on the kind of procedure and criteria applicable to child enrolment. The amount of fees paid by parents is also decided by the local municipality and is the same for everyone. Public and private kindergartens are available, with considerably lower fees at public kindergartens.

Pre-school education is not obligatory with the exception of one compulsory pre-school year right before the beginning of primary school. The child can spend this year either in a preparatory group at a kindergarten or in a preparatory class at a primary school.

Additional lessons in Bulgarian are provided for children who do not speak the language or have problems speaking it. Some public and private kindergartens provide lessons in English.