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Tallinn simplifies family kindergarten fee exemption system

Kelluke Kindergarten in Tallinn's Kalamaja neighborhood. February 10, 2023.
Kelluke Kindergarten in Tallinn's Kalamaja neighborhood. February 10, 2023. Source: Ksenija Kurs

In an update to an existing exemption broadening its scope, starting next year, families in Tallinn with more than one child in kindergarten in the Estonian capital will be exempt from kindergarten fees from the second child onward, regardless of their registered address.

Previously, both the children and parents in question were required to be registered at the same address in order to qualify for the exemption. Starting next year, however, a parent and children both simply being registered as residents of the capital will suffice, Tallinn city government said in a press release.

Parents will still have to submit an application in order to take advantage of the exemption – which was first introduced two years ago already – but according to Tallinn Deputy Mayor Andrei Kante (Center), the city has made the process more family-friendly and flexible.

"The previous requirement for parents to reside at the same address as the child sometimes caused disputes," Kante explained. "As this is an exemption from fees, not a monetary benefit to a specific parent, it doesn't matter which parent applies for and receives the exemption."

Eligible for the fee exemption from the second child onward are parents and children who have been continuously registered as residents of Tallinn both during the year of application and as of December 31 of the preceding year.

Likewise, starting in January, parents will no longer have to submit a new application for each child each school year either; a single application will suffice through the child starting school in first grade (or the end of the period recommended by an external counseling team).

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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