Daycare and kindergarten – nido & asilo
In Italy, there are daycare and kindergarten schools for very young children which are called nido and asilo. In these schools, parents can safely drop off their children where children can often eat and sleep. The teachers are prepared to work with young children. It is not mandatory, but you can choose whether to send your child to these schools.
Nido and asilo are the schools that take care of children from 3 months to 6 years of age until they start primary school.
These schools are not mandatory, so children don’t have to attend. In fact, some parents keep their children at home until they are 5 or 6 years. Parents who cannot keep their children at home, for work, or other needs, enroll their children in nido and asilo.
Even if they are not compulsory, these schools are considered very important places of growth, where the child grows and learns the language from an early age.
From 3 months to 3 years, children can be enrolled in nidi and micronidi.
Nidi can have a maximum of 60 babies, while micronidi have a maximum of 10 babies. In both, children play, eat, sleep, are washed and changed.
Some schools also have additional sections, also known as classi primavera, which are for 2-3 year children arriving from daycare or starting school for the first time. Almost always, these classes are in the same schools as the nidi and micronidi.
Asilo is for children aged 3 to 6.
Classes often consist of 18-29 children per class. In Italy, most children attend asilo before starting primary school.
Here, children get used to school through many educational games.
Schools are open from September to June, from Monday to Friday, from early morning to late afternoon.
Many schools allow parents to plan together the times that suit them best. It is possible to enroll children for fewer hours, even half a day, or enroll them for pre-school and after school if needed.
Many schools also have summer sessions for the month of July. This session has an additional cost that must be paid separately. You must also register your child in advance for attendance. Usually, summer school hours are the same as regular ones.
Schools are not open in August.
To enroll your child in nido and asilo near your home, you must apply for enrollment. In many places, enrollment must be done by going in person to the school of your choice. In other places, registration must be done online.
You must follow the instructions of your municipality (Comune).
This information may also be available on the internet. On google, write:
iscrizione nido/asilo + (name of the municipality).
Registration must always be done by a certain date. After that, a list is published showing whether your child has a place in the school. If your child is given a place, you must accept it by a certain date. If you accept, you will also have to make the first payment otherwise you will lose your place.
The costs of nido and asilo depend on the economic situation of the family and the city of residence.
Remember that you don’t have to send your kids to school before primary school. If you decide instead to enroll your children in nido and asilo, there may be expenses that you will have to pay.
Visit our page to find out the cost of school and economic support.
After registering, you will also need to register your child for the lunch service, also called refezione scolastica, which is the lunch service that children eat and which is given by the school. Remember that if the child is not registered for this service, he/she will not be able to stay for the whole day, but only for reduced hours.
The cost of this service also changes according to family income and usually varies from € 0 to 2.30 per meal. The cost goes up for families who are not residents of the same municipality as the school.
Most schools and teachers are prepared to accommodate children who need more attention in their schooling. Special needs can be delays or learning disabilities (dyslexia, dysgraphia, etc.), difficulties in maintaining attention and concentration, physical and motor disabilities, and problems related to the child’s economic, social, and linguistic situation.
Whenever possible, parents of infants or children with special needs are asked to show their child’s health certificate upon enrollment or before the child starts attending school. The school and the teachers will thus have the opportunity and time to decide with the parents the most suitable educational plan for the child.
- If you need another person to pick up your child from school, you will need to give the school their information in advance. Children attending nido and asilo are very young and this is required to ensure their safety. You will need to sign an authorization form, or modulo di autorizzazione, with the person’s name. They will also need to have the document with them to collect the child.
- If the child is absent and does not go to school for health, family, or other reasons, you must inform the school. The school may ask you the reason for your absence. If, however, the child is missing from school for a long period, remember to stay in communication with the teachers and notify them in time. If you don’t send your child to school for a long time without talking to the school, your child may lose his or her place.