The first cycle of Infant reaches schools: more than 750 applications for the first 497 places

Infant students at the León y Castillo school, which next year will have a classroom for two-year-old students. / JUAN CARLOS ALONSO

The Government of the Canary Islands presents the plan for education from 0 to 3 years as an advance in equity of the system and equality. It is planned to create 3,879 public places until 2025

T. ARTILES The Gran Canarian palms

For the first time,
the first cycle of Early Childhood Education will be taught in public schools in the Canary Islands next year with 497 places offered in 34 centers located in 25 municipalities on five islands, for which more than 740 applications have already been submitted.

This offer of public and free places in centers dependent on the Ministry of Education of the Canarian Government is one of the main axes of the
strategic plan for teaching from 0 to 3 yearss, which was presented this Monday by the Canarian Government as
an advance in educational equity, social justice and equality, due to its favorable factor for reconciling work and family, according to the President of the Executive, Ángel Víctor Torres, who broke down the document at a press conference together with the Minister of Education, Manuela Armas. "It's an important day," Torres summed up.

In addition to the opening of schools for the students of the last year of this early educational stage, the two-year-old -in three centers there will be mixed classrooms with boys and girls also from one-,
The plan contemplates the co-financing and increase in the offer in municipal nursery schools, with the aim of creating a total of 3,879 places until the 2024-25 academic year to reach 9,369 public.

The objective is to alleviate one of the great deficits of the Canarian educational system,
that drags the lowest schooling rate from 0 to 3 years in the State.

Currently, and according to the diagnosis included in the strategic plan, in the islands
only 23.4% of minors of this age go to a nursery school on the islands, thirteen points below the state average.

And the majority, in addition, go to private centers: as of August 2021,
On the islands there are 241 centers that teach children from 0 to 3 years old, of which 162 are private, 67.2%, with a total of 7,957 places, and 79 public that offer 5,490.

Armas highlighted the importance as an educational stage of the first cycle of Infants, which has been shown
key to the development of students and their results in more advanced courses, so giving access to public places to students from families without resources represents an advance in the equity of the system.

Schools by islands

Of the 34 educational centers dependent on the Ministry of Education that will have classrooms the next year of the first cycle of Infant,
15 are in Tenerife, eight in Gran Canaria, five in Lanzarote, four in Fuerteventura and two in La Palma.

According to the Government, the municipalities where there is no offer of authorized places, neither public nor private, in which there is no public offer, and in which the existing offer is insufficient, have been prioritized, betting on disadvantaged areas that have vulnerable students or peripheral areas that do not have this service.

The government anticipates that
in 2025 schools on all the islands offer the last year of the early educational stage, for which it hopes to create another 597 places in the 2023-24 academic year, and 658 in 24-25.

municipal nursery schools

The rest until reaching the almost 4,000 new public places contemplated in the plan will mean an increase in the offer in municipal nursery schools.
The Canarian Government has closed a co-financing agreement with the Canarian Federation of Municipalities whereby the municipalities will contribute 33.3% of the total cost of each place, which is around 300 euros; families a maximum of 33.3% depending on their income and the Government the same percentage as a minimum. The Executive will contribute more for the most vulnerable boys and girls, who will not pay anything, until covering 66% of their places.

This strategic plan is financed with 39.5 million euros of state funds from the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism (MRR).

Subsidy for private places

In addition, the Canarian Government will finance a line of aid for the early schooling of these vulnerable students in private centers, which will be of two types, 300 and 150 euros. The plan foresees that 1,288 male and female students will benefit from these grants per year.

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