Starting September 1, the city of Tallinn will exempt families with special educational needs (SEN) children from kindergarten place fees from kindergarten places if the family is in a difficult financial situation.
On Wednesday, Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) said: "As of September, additional exceptions will start to apply in Tallinn's municipal kindergartens so that families with children which are experiencing economic difficulties would get a place in kindergarten for their child."
The mayor added that the city also is planning to make free places in kindergarten available to children with special education needs (SEN). The measure, also expected to take effect from September 1, has yet to be endorsed by the city council.
Plans are also for SEN children to be supported in private kindergartens, and the city government plans to come up with a relevant plan shortly.
Tallinn also wants to ensure free meals for children at municipal kindergartens and private kindergartens alike.
Kõlvart noted: "The amount to be paid would be equal, meaning that if at a private kindergarten the amount going on food is bigger than at a kindergarten of the city, the parents must bridge the gap."
He also noted that an increase in food aid is expected in Tallinn. "As it could be seen that also the need for social assistance in the city will grow amid the coronavirus crisis, we had set out several aid measures for the summer, including the distribution of food packages to families with children," Kõlvart said.
The mayor added: "It came out that the need is bigger than believed, and the number of packages is growing constantly. We are prepared to meet that demand and allocate additional resources also in the future."
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste