It is a question for many parents when it comes to organizing the new school year for their child. In France, it is indeed compulsory in all school districts for children to be registered at kindergarten from 3 years old. This leads us to two questions.
When ? Meaning, at what age?
When your child turns 3. But certain schools, such as The Garden Academy, welcome children from 2 years old to Preschool in a program adapted to their age.
When during the year?
Now! We advise that your child’s enrollment in kindergarten must be done early in the year, at the very latest by the month of June, before school starts in September. Kindergartens and elementary schools alike in cities such as Paris open their enrollment process early on in the year. Whereas cities such as Nantes, or Toulouse, amongst other areas, require registrations to be done by May. Therefore, you must check with your local city hall the dates when you can start the enrolment process and the closing dates for your district.
Whereas in private schools, it is much easier to enroll your child in preschool or kindergarten because we accept (very!) late enrollments for our classes. But of course, it depends on the number of places we have left.
Besides that, you must remember that June should be the latest month for you to enroll your child in kindergarten. Applications must be done early.
At The Garden Academy, our 3 centers in Paris still have places available for kids aged 2 to 3 years old, in our preschool and kindergarten programs.
Enrollment in a public school
When opting to register at a public kindergarten or elementary school, parents are not able to choose directly which school their child will attend. It is instead determined by the French national body for education and according to your address, you are assigned a school in your local area. To begin this registration process, first of all, you need to ask your city hall which school you need to enroll your child at, and then fill out the requested documents. Most of the time, it will be a school in the same district you live in.
If you don’t want your child to attend the school that you have been assigned and instead wish to choose a school in another area or in another city, you need to ask for an exemption from your city hall and wait for their agreement and also the agreement from the city of the school you are applying to…
You will still need to go to your city hall to complete the enrollment process even if there is only one school or kindergarten, in your city.
In certain big French cities and especially in Paris, enrollments need to be done at the city hall of the district where you live, and in some cases, it can be done online. For instance, the 17th district of Paris does not accept online enrollments except for in particular cases.
You can then fill out the enrollment form and send the other required documents. City halls issue school certificates around 15 days later to confirm your child’s place and grade at the school they will attend.
Parents must enroll their child early in the year, the latest during the month of June, before school starts in September. Enrollments start in March (in February in Nantes or in January in Toulouse).
You will then need to provide your identity documents as well as those relating to your child (identity card, family record book, birth certificate or passport), and a proof of address.
Your city hall will deliver you an enrollment certificate by mail, which you will need to finish your application with the school administration, at the school indicated on the document.
The school will also ask you for a vaccination card and proof of home insurance (meaning responsibility insurance).
Enrollment in public preschool is free. La CAF (family allowance) pays an allowance in September for children up to 6 years old.
Where to enroll your child when living abroad ?
According to French law, you can still register your child even when you are not in France yet. But children or students must be registered either in the city where their parents have French residency, in the city where one of the parents live, or in a city that welcomes French children and students from abroad in a special establishment.
If you choose private school
You’ll be happy to hear that everything you just read does not apply to private schools ! In France, enrollments for public or private schools are different.
In private kindergarten schools, like The Garden Academy, applications and registrations must only be done with the school you’ve chosen. Other private kindergartens and preschools have their own application and registration policy and you must inquire about it beforehand, to know how to proceed, if you attend to join the kindergarten.
At The Garden Academy, each family can book an appointment to discover our schools and visit each of our different centers. We also offer video calls for families living abroad. Dates and registration information depend on the school.
At the Garden Academy, it’s really easy: once you have had an appointment with us, you will only need to complete the enrollment form that we send to you by mail or e-mail.
However in France, admissions in private schools are based upon the number of places left, the child’s needs and what the parents are asking for.
In France, going to a private school means paying for it. There is the school fee and the registration fee. All the amounts depend on their location, the programs, and the facilities available. In Paris and its surrounding areas, parents can find a large number of bilingual kindergartens vying to welcome their children. We invite you to check out our Top 10 bilingual Kindergartens in Paris list where we highlight our recommended schools following this link.
What is the pre-admission appointment and how to prepare for it ?
You would like your child to join The Garden Academy and you don’t know how to get ready for the interview ? Don’t worry, it is very simple and actually, you have nothing to prepare for !
The point here is to determine if we can all together admit your child in our school, by assessing if our programs and methods are adapted to your child to ensure that your child would be able to flourish in our immersive and positive learning environment.
The more natural the better; this means we can see exactly what you are looking for. It is important to let your child express themself as well, so we can decide if this school is a good match for them. This is the case for every child, whether your child is about to enter preschool, kindergarten, or is already in elementary school and wants to join our extra-curricular after school program.
To know more about :
– Our team of exclusively native English speakers
– Our mixt program (an American learning approach of the European curriculum ; dual language immersion)
– Our instruction methods and active pedagogy (music, theater, gardening, singing, cooking class, …)
– Our typical schedules and all the important information about our 3 kindergartens and preschools in Paris
For a public kindergarten application :
– Contact your city hall to book an appointment and prepare this file :
- A copy of your family record book (parents & child) or the child’s birth certificate
- A copy of the parent completing the school registration’s identity card
- A proof of address
– Book an appointment with the school administration for preschool or kindergarten and prepare this file :
- Inscription certificate delivered by your city hall
- A copy of the child’s vaccination card (or a contraindication certificate)
- Home insurance certificate (which you can give in September)
For a private kindergarten application :
– Directly contact the school by phone or e-mail : an appointment will be booked with the family and the child, it can also be done by video call.
– Please fill out the enrollment form and the other requested documents.