Justice chancellor: Local governments must ensure kindergarten places

Kindergarten. Source: Olev Kenk/ERR

Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise finds that local governments have no legal right to decide on the level of regulation not to follow the law and must ensure local residents a kindergarten place inside a sensible time.

Supreme Court Justice Villu Kõve sought the justice chancellor's opinion on a Rae Municipality regulation according to which whether a parent can get a kindergarten place depends on the number of applications and vacancy in a given age group.

The justice chancellor found that the subsection is not in accordance with the constitutional principle of legality. "The law provides that cities and municipalities are obligated to provide a kindergarten place for children of residents who want one and must do so inside a sensible time frame. According to the Constitution, a local government cannot decide on the level of regulation no to comply with the law and not provide every child with a place inside a sensible period of time," Madise found.

Court practice puts that sensible time frame around 75 days.

"Cities and municipalities have a broad overview of how many children who have reached the kindergarten or school age live in their administrative area based on the population register. It is possible to ensure kindergarten places in cooperation with neighboring local governments or private daycares. However, this must not result in unnecessary additional expenses for parents," the justice chancellor added.


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Editor: Mari Peegel, Marcus Turovski

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