One of the first important decisions expats with children face concerns schooling in Prague. While most expats choose to send their kids to private international schools, some opt for a Czech public or private school.
If you are planning to stay in Prague long-term, enrolling your children at a Czech school helps them integrate locally and pick up the language. The fact that university education in the Czech Republic is free for Czech-speaking students also makes it worthwhile for kids to learn the language while they are at school. The Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports has further information on this topic.
If your time in Prague is limited and your children will continue their education elsewhere, it probably makes the most sense to send them to one of the international schools. Here, they can study in English (or their mother tongue) and follow a curriculum they will be able to continue abroad.
Public schools in the Czech Republic are free of charge, even for children of temporary residents such as expats. In general, the language of instruction in public schools is Czech only.
However, there are a number of elementary schools in Prague which offer more “alternative” programs and have some experience in working with bilingual or foreign language children. Class Acts, a community of parents of bilingual children living in Prague, can give you more information on these particular schools.
Additionally, there are several private Czech schools which offer bilingual education and are usually much cheaper than the international schools. One of these is the prominent Nový PORG Gymnázium, the first non-state Czech school.
Those who would like to put their kids in an international school have quite a good selection of schools to choose from. The majority of international schools use English as the main medium of instruction. Schools follow the British, American, Czech or some other national curriculum. Many also offer the internationally recognized International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma.
The following are some of the most prominent international schools in Prague:
Most expats who send their children to the international schools have costs for schooling reimbursed by their employer. This is reflected in the annual tuition fees: depending on the particular school and grade enrolled in, they range from 170,000 CZK to 520,000 CZK. The good news is that you may be at the lower end of this scale if your employer does not compensate you for tuition as you could be eligible for a discount on tuition fees.
In the Czech Republic, public preschools (mateřské školy) for children aged three to six are part of the educational system and financed mainly by the state. There are moderate fees to be paid by parents for the first two years, but the third and final years are free of charge.
In addition, Prague has ever-increasing numbers of private preschools and daycare centers. Most of the international schools listed above have preschool and kindergarten facilities and accept children from the age of two or three onwards. Alternatively, Prague has a number of other private international daycare centers, as well as Czech preschools which have a class in English or German.
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