Childcare, Kindergartens (Nursery Schools) & Pre-schools
Childcare in Israel provides a solution for the high percentage of working mothers. After 3 months of maternity leave parents are required to find a solution for the care of their babies. If you cannot afford to be a stay-at-home-mom or you don’t have an extended family that is willing to help out, you will have to consider the following alternatives:-
Metapelet - Child minder - מתפלת
A metapelet is a woman who takes care of your baby only at your house or hers.
Mishpachton - Play group - משפחתון
A mishpachton refers to a metapelet who takes care of a few babies, usually about 4, at her home. It is an intimate, warm and secure environment for your small baby.
P'ooton - Crèche - פעותון
A p'ooton is for babies and toddlers from 3 months to 3 years
Kindergartens - Gan - גן ילדים
From age 3 there you can consider kindergarten. There are 2 types of kindergartens in Israel, private and state funded.
Private kindergartens - גן פרטי
Private kindergartens are supervised by the Ministry of Education and cater for children from 3 months to 5 years.
Municipal kindergarten - גן עירוני
Municipal kindergartens are run by qualified kindergarten teachers. They cater for children from 3 to 6 years in three age groups;
- ages 3-4 (Trom-Trom Hova or Tut Hova) - Optional
- ages 4-5 (Trom Hova) - Recommended
- ages 5-6 (Hova) - Compulsory
Kindergarten attendance is compulsory from the age of 5. At the conclusion of the Hova (compulsory) year (5-6) the child will either begin primary school or will repeat the Hova year if he/she is not psychologically and cognitively ready for primary school.
Zaharon - צהרון
A zaharon is an optional afternoon program that many pre-schools offer. The cost is calculated separately.
Compulsory education is from kindergarten to the 10th grade although most continue through to the 12th.
During the compulsory (hova) kindergarten year, you will have to register your child for school.
Registration of your child for pre-school and elementary school is generally according to district and must be done via the Education Department.
Documents Required for Registration
You usually need the following documents to register your children for school for the first time in Israel:
- Your Teudat Oleh or immigrant certificate - תעודת עולה - updated with your current address
- Rental contract
- Teudat Zehut your identity document - תעודת זהות - or authorization of registration of both parents in the Ministry of the Interior's population registry (mirsham toshavim)
- Tuedat Leida or birth certificate - תעודת לידה - of each child
- Transcripts or certificates from schools your children attended previously
Registration of children for pre-school and elementary school is usually by district so if your address has not yet been registered in your teudat zehut you may need to bring a copy of your rental contract with you.