Yerevan kindergartens: Free of charges, but overloaded

Yerevan state-run kindergartens are overcrowded, with up to 40-45 children in one group, when the maximum should be 30, according to Silva Achoyan, deputy head of education department at municipality staff, who spoke about the situation at a press conference on Wednesday.

Achoyan said the problem is the shortage of kindergartens in the city, and the fact that municipality-run kindergartens in Yerevan are free of charge.

Currently about 22,000 children aged one to five attend some 160 kindergartens in Yerevan,another 8,000 are in line.

Yerevan’s City Hall decision last April on making the kindergartens free of charge has been widely welcomed among the parents. The municipality said that the decision was made because of the social importance of the issue.

Before the municipality’s decision only the kindergartens in Avan district (by order of the district head) were free of charge, and as for the rest of the kindergartens, they charged 4,000-10,000 drams ($11-$27) monthly fee. The fee in commercial kindergartens ranges from $100- $300.