In the Czech Republic, pre-school facilities cater to children aged 3 to 6. Compulsory education goes from the age of 6 to 15. Secondary schools cater to young people from 16 to 19. The school year runs from 1 September until 30 June. Except for the pre-school level, the Czech educational system is overwhelmingly public and free of charge. Educational institutions that offer teaching solely in a language other than Czech will be private, and hence charge fees.
Pre-schooling: It’s difficult to get your child accepted into a public pre-school facility unless s/he’s scheduled to attend primary school in the following school year, you live in the city district where the facility is located and your child is able / willing to function in a Czech-speaking milieu. The official registration period is February-May via a central website; however, it is advised to contact the chosen pre-schools in advance. In all other cases, i.e. children younger than 5 years of age, not speaking Czech or wanting to attend preschool in a different part of the city, you usually have to resort to a private provider.
The only school with English as its sole teaching language (for kindergarten to year 13 students) is the private International School of Brno. Most schools where the teaching is in Czech will welcome non-Czech-speaking children and do their best to integrate them into the classroom teaching process. One school is more professionally geared to working with children from a non-Czech background. Located at Staňkova 14, it has special classes of Czech for foreigners and also includes intercultural programmes in the curriculum. Registration for the following school year takes place each January-February via a central website.
For more information you can read an article on graduating from a high school written by our American blogger. Also download the infosheet on schools and preschool facilities with list of recommended kindergartens and schools. If you don’t find what you’re looking for there, send us an inquiry.
If you’re looking for a Czech course, try the Correct Language Centre or Mr. Kompliment from our Referral Programme. Foreigners from outside of the EU can also take free Czech courses with the South Moravian Regional Centre for the Integration of Foreigners. There are two articles on learning Czech on our blog, too.