It is organized in two educational cycles, the first from 0 to 3 years old and the second from 3 to 6 years old. Although it is a voluntary stage, the second cycle is very generalized and practically 100% of the students of this age are in school.
The objectives, the organization, the contents and the evaluation criteria, as well as the requirements that the centers have to meet in the first cycle of this stage are regulated by the autonomous communities. In the second cycle, the competition belongs to the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training together with the educational authorities of each autonomous community.
Early Childhood Education aims to contribute to intellectual, physical, emotional and social development of children. Therefore, it provides comprehensive training that allows you to exercise different skills, build personality, promote emotional development and mitigate cultural and socioeconomic inequalities.
During this stage, different educational activities are carried out so that girls and boys develop capacities that allow them to:
- Know your own body and that of others, learning and respecting differences.
- Observe and explore their family, natural and social environment.
- Acquire autonomy in their usual activities.
- Develop their affective capacities.
- Relate to others and acquire patterns of coexistence, social relationship and learn to resolve conflicts.
- Develop communication skills.
- Get started in logical-math, reading-writing, movement, gesture and rhythm skills.
The Early Childhood Education stage is divided into two cycles of three school years each:
- First cycle (0-3 years): It is taught in nursery schools and is normally divided into three homogeneous age groups.
- Second cycle (3-6 years): It is taught in nursery schools or nursery and primary education centers and is divided into three kindergarten courses. In general, the second cycle of Early Childhood Education is taught in the same center as the Primary Education stage.
Through practical activities and games, the different contents of this stage are worked on that will allow the girls and boys to achieve the set objectives.
In the second cycle of Early Childhood Education the following three are worked knowledge areas:
- Self-knowledge and personal autonomy
- Knowledge of the environment
- Languages: communication and representation
The educational administrations and schools are responsible for developing and completing the different educational content that will be dealt with in each of the two cycles of Early Childhood Education.
Thus, in the second cycle, a first approach to the foreign language is promoted, especially in the last year, as well as to literacy, basic numerical skills, ICT and visual and musical expression.
Where to study and access
The first cycle is taught in nursery schools or kindergartens, while the second takes place in Early Childhood and Primary Education centers. These centers can be public, concerted or private. Most of the centers that teach the second cycle also teach Primary Education, and some of them Obligatory Secondary Education (ESO) and Baccalaureate.
You can check the centers that offer these teachings in the State Registry of Non-university Teaching Centers (RCD).
In order to be able to choose the center well for your daughter or son, it is important that you follow the advice that we list below:
It is important that you keep in mind that when there are not enough places in schools supported with public funds, the Admission process will be governed by the following priority criteria:
- Existence of siblings enrolled in the center or parents or legal guardians who work in it.
- Proximity of the home or workplace of one of their parents or legal guardians.
- Annual income of the family unit, taking into account the specificities that apply to large families for their calculation.
- Disability in the student or in one of his parents or siblings.
Departures and connections with other studios
At the end of the second cycle of Early Childhood Education, students have direct access to Primary Education.