When children do not have access to kindergarten, we deny them the opportunity to develop their abilities, talents, and skills in the modern way. Research shows that children who go to kindergarten are healthier in the long term, are less likely to have behavioural problems, achieve better results in later education, and any developmental risks are recognised earlier.
According to Eurostat, in Croatia 75 percent of children from four years of age to compulsory schooling go to kindergarten. However, an analysis of the current situation regarding access, conducted by experts from the Faculty of Law in Zagreb, shows extensive regional disparities. In Vukovar-Srijem County, for example, 29 percent of children go to kindergarten, in Brod-Posavina, only one in four girls and boys have the opportunity to attend kindergarten. In Zagreb, on the other hand, 82.8 percent of girls and boys from three to six years of age go to kindergarten.
Whether a child has the chance to go to kindergarten depends on whether the parents are employed, in which part of Croatia they are growing up, and whether the town or municipality in which they live is rich or poor. The challenge is even greater for girls and boys with developmental disabilities or children from families with poorer financial status.