Free Kindergarten for All Children in the Targovishte Municipality

TSA welcomes the news about the elimination of kindergarten fees in the Targovishte municipalitiy.  On February 12, 2015, the Municipal Council in Targovishte voted to drop kindergarten fees for all children living in its territory, starting on March 1, 2015.  The decision occurred after a group of about 200 parents filed a complaint against food quality in the kindergartens.  After analyzing the situation, the mayor and his team decided to propose to the Municipal Council that it amend the Regulation for determining and administration of local service fees and prices in the Targovishte municipality.  The municipal administration then determined to budget BGN 470 000 for kindergarten fees for a period of three years.  Presently, 869 children at the age of 3-6 are enrolled in kindergartens in the territory of the municipality, and they will take advantage of the recent amendment.

Increasing the participation of children in early education has been proven to have long-term and significant impacts on later educational and life outcomes.  According to Nobel prize-winning economist James Heckman, there is also an economic benefit to equalizing educational opportunities, since underdeveloped human potential burdens the economy and leaves it with a workforce unprepared to compete in the global economy.  In fact, Heckman and other scholars have claimed that every dollar invested in high-quality early childhood education produces a 7-10 percent per annum return on the investment.