Navigating Kindergarten Enrollment in Poland: A Guide for Expats

Relocating to a new country can be a daunting experience, especially for expatriate families with young children. Understanding the local education system is crucial for a smooth transition. In Poland, kindergartens play a vital role in early childhood development, offering a blend of education, care, and socialization. Here is a detailed guide for expats on how to navigate the process of applying to a kindergarten in Poland.

Step 1: Understanding the Polish Kindergarten System

Before you start the application process, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the Polish kindergarten system. Kindergartens in Poland, known as ‘przedszkole’, typically cater to children aged 3 to 6. Attendance is not compulsory, but it is highly recommended to support your child’s development and integration into Polish society.

Step 2: Research and Selection

Start by researching kindergartens in your area. Consider factors such as proximity to your home or workplace, language of instruction, curriculum, facilities, and feedback from other parents, especially expats. Many kindergartens in urban areas offer programs in English or bilingual options, which can be beneficial for expat children.

Step 3: Visit Potential Kindergartens

Once you have a shortlist, arrange visits to these kindergartens. Observing classes, meeting teachers, and assessing the environment can provide invaluable insights. This is also an opportunity to ask questions about the curriculum, language support for non-Polish speakers, and integration processes for international children.

Step 4: Understand Application Deadlines and Requirements

Kindergarten application deadlines typically fall in the spring for enrollment in the following academic year, but this can vary. Check the specific deadlines for each kindergarten. Be prepared to provide documentation such as your child’s birth certificate, proof of residence, and vaccination records. For expat families, additional documents such as passports, residence permits, and possibly translated and apostilled documents may be required.

Step 5: Submit Your Application

Submit your application before the deadline. Some kindergartens allow online applications, while others may require in-person submission. Ensure that your application is complete and that you have included all necessary documentation to avoid delays.

Step 6: Wait for Confirmation

After submitting your application, there will be a waiting period. During this time, kindergartens review applications and make their decisions. The length of this period can vary, so it’s important to remain patient. Keep in touch with the kindergartens to stay updated on the status of your application.

Step 7: Acceptance and Enrollment

If your child is accepted, you will receive an offer. Review this carefully and make sure you understand all the conditions before accepting. There may be an enrollment fee or other requirements to finalize your child’s place. Once you accept the offer, your child will be officially enrolled.

Step 8: Prepare for the First Day

Prepare your child for the start of kindergarten. Discuss the new routine and what to expect. Attend any orientation sessions provided by the kindergarten, which can help both you and your child adjust to the new environment.

Step 9: Ongoing Communication

Maintain open communication with the kindergarten staff. This will help you stay informed about your child’s progress and address any challenges that may arise, especially those related to cultural or language barriers.


Applying for kindergarten in Poland as an expat requires careful planning and preparation. By understanding the system, researching options, and completing the application process diligently, you can secure a place for your child in a supportive educational environment. Remember, the goal is not only to find a kindergarten but also to ensure a smooth transition for your child into a new culture and educational system.

Polish Kindergartens