This chapter focuses on early childhood education and care services. After tracking the related constitutional rights and the legal framework, it analyses the features of the system which is currently split into: nurseries for children aged 0-2 and kindergarten for children aged 3-5, but which, according to the recent educational reform, is going to be unified and built into the educational system. The chapter also describes the services (the geographical distribution and the administrative framework), its inclusiveness, the fees paid by the families, the parental leave and the informal support from grandparents as well as the specific provisions to incentivize the participation of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Finally, it illustrates the interaction between services and parents and the services’ integration with the social, health and child protection services.
Keywords: Early Childhood Education and Care services (ECEC), nursery, kindergarten, inclusiveness, fees, parental leave, informal support, provisions for disadvantaged children