Gov’t Promoting Early Childhood Education

Each kindergarten is given a quality star rating, ranging from 1 to 3 stars.
Each kindergarten is given a quality star rating, ranging from 1 to 3 stars.

Early years of life are critical to the healthy cognitive, emotional, and physical growth of children, and the environment has a significant impact on determining how children’s brains grow and develop.

“High-quality early education improves children’s health and promotes their development and learning,” said Ali Darvish, head of the Development of Kindergartens Office at the State Welfare Organization.

“So far, 16,000 licenses have been granted to applicants to start kindergartens of which 8,500 were issued in urban areas and the remaining (47%) in rural areas,” he said.

Kindergarten facilities are monitored regularly by the office to ensure that equipment and materials, child to staff ratio, hygiene and sanitation, qualified staff, and daily activities are in place as per the rules.  

“Recently, around 1100 unauthorized kindergartens were identified and shut down across the country of which 150 were in Tehran,” the official added.

Explaining the regulations for operating a child care facility, he said there should be at least one primary care provider and one assistant for every 15 toddlers (a child who is 19 to 36 months of age) in kindergartens.

  Quality Ratings

Since the year 2011, with an aim to improve quality of early learning in the country, a program for star rating of kindergartens is being implemented. Based on the program, each kindergarten is given a quality star rating, ranging from 1 to 3 stars.

The quality of each kindergarten is assessed using criteria including staff qualifications and activities.

Kindergartens are assessed every three years and depending on their previous rating they may receive a new star rating with each evaluation.

The program helps parents make informed decisions when looking for a quality child care or preschool program.

Currently, there are 7 million children under the age of 7 years in Iran, of whom 10% attend kindergartens. About 100 new kindergartens are established every year.

Tuition fees for kindergartens are revised annually according to their star rating. This year the fee was increased by 15.5%, 17%, 18.5% and 20% for 0, 1, 2 and 3 stars, respectively.

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