The Ministry of Education and Research is to start surveilling the availability of kindergarten places in Rae rural municipality, near Tallinn, because of a family's inability to acquire a kindergarten place for their child.
According to the ministry, this is the first such case in Estonia. Jelena Zemskova, adviser of communications at the Ministry of Education and Research, said parents of ten children have turned to the ministry over the last two years, but most cases have been solved locally.
Zemskova told ERR: "In cases where parents are finding it difficult to find a kindergarten place for their child, they normally turn to the local government. The education ministry will be notified of the problem if a solution with the local government has not been able to be achieved."
Zemskova added the reasons for why a family and local government can not reach an agreement can not be published.
The ministry told ERR Thursday if there are problems with the legitimacy of education, the Ministry of Education and Research can start surveilling local government and precept them, if necessary.
Jens Vendel and Priit Põldmäe, deputy mayors of Rae municpality, said the population of the district is increasing by a thousand each year.
Põldmäe added, in order to adapt to the demand, four new kindergartens have been built over the last four years. In addition, extra buildings in the existing kindergartens are being built.
According to data from the municipality, there are 2,070 kindergarten places available in the municipality, of which 1,820 have been filled. Vendel thinks the development of new institutions can stop because population growth is not endless.
Childcare benefits are available for the families of Rae rural municipality, in case the child is more than one and a half years old and the rural municipality has no kindergarten place to offer. Põldmäe said that 669 parents received these benefits last year and were very satisfied.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste