How to get your child ready for school in Cyprus; including the type of nursery schools available, registration and the vaccination records required...
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth has approval of all nursery schools (or kindergartens) operating on the island, whether a state-run public school or a private nursery school. The Ministry of Education and Culture also determines the curriculum to be followed. There are 3 categories of nursery school:
- Public nursery schools (Δημόσιο/Dimósio) operate under the authority of the Ministry of Education, working in collaboration with parents' associations and community authorities. All teachers are qualified, while the teachers' aids must have completed secondary schooling.
- Community nursery schools (Κοινοτικό/Koinotikó) are run by parents' associations or community authorities and are registered by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
- Private nursery schools are privately established and owned however they are all approved by Ministry of Education and Culture and operate according to the Private Schools' Law, 1971, of the Republic of Cyprus.
Registration for a place in a public nursery takes place over a 2 day period during January. The exact dates are announced by the Ministry of Education.
Applications are not accepted outside of these 2 days. Parents are informed by post in April/May if their child has been accepted. A registration fee is usually required by the Parents Association; this covers the cost of the child's accident insurance which is a prerequisite for attending school.
Registration forms are available in advance from the public nursery or from the Ministry of Education website. Each public nursery has a catchment area. To apply for a nursery place outside a catchment area, an application to transfer to a pre-primary in another area must be made, stating the reasons for the request.
The documents required when registering a child for pre-primary are:
- Completed application form MOEC 11 for children over 4 years and 8 months
- Completed application form MOEC 30 for children 3-4 years and 8 months
- Two utility bills which include a home address
- Registration fee
- Birth certificate
The birth certificate is kept at the school until the child graduates the pre-primary class.
A maximum of 25 children per class is allowed. If there are available places in public pre-primary for younger children (aged between 3 years and 4 years 8 months), their application is reviewed by a school Selections Committee. Parents are informed by post if their child has been accepted and invited to visit the nursery on a specified date.
- More information on the criteria and procedure of accepting a child at public pre-primary is available from The Ministry of Education.
The cost of private, public and communal nursery
Private Nursery: Monthly fees at private nurseries vary from area to area. They also depend on if the child is there for the morning period or until the afternoon. Extra fees are payable for breakfast and lunch.
Community Nursery: Monthly fees are decided by the Parents Association and depend on the hours of service the nursery has to offer. Fees are usually less than a private nursery.
Public Nursery: Younger children aged between 3 years and 4 years 8 months are required to pay a monthly fee decided by the Minister of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Finance.
Compulsory Pre-primary education for children over 4 years and 8 months is free. Some public pre-primary nurseries offer all-day schooling for an extra fee. The day ends between 3pm - 5pm. Times vary from nursery to nursery. Lunch is provided and there is a period for sleep before the afternoon activities.
Vaccinations are only advised by schools and are not compulsory unless an epidemic of a particular illness such as measles occurs.
A copy of a child's vaccination record should be given to the relevant school when a child is enrolled for primary school. New residents should take records of child's health and vaccinations if any (UK families show the "red book") to the health visitor at the general hospital who will then provide a Cypriot vaccination certificate and advice on any other recommended vaccinations.
A list of the recommended vaccinations is given to parents when registering their child for primary school.