All 6-year-old children and those 5-year-old children who are included in extended compulsory education have the right also to a free pre-school education. Participating in pre-school education is optional. Pre-school education is given in the daycare centres and in some schools. The daycare centres and schools have a common curriculum.
Pre-school education follows the schedule for the school's academic year. Teaching is given on school days for approximately four hours a day.
Applications for a day-care place can be submitted all year round. The application must be submitted no later than four months before the day care is needed. In urgent cases – or when a parent is seeking a study place, in which case the start date of the need for day care cannot be predicted – the application must be submitted no later than two weeks before the child needs a place in day care.