Before starting their primary education, children could be educated at home and/or by pre-school education institutions. There are two distinct stages of formal pre-school education:
- Pre-school education for children aged 6 and younger (ikimokyklinis);
- Pre-primary education for children from 6 to 7 years (in exceptional cases from 5 to 7) (priešmokyklinis).
The goal of pre-school education is to satisfy and develop a child’s social and cognitive needs. It is offered by nurseries, nursery-kindergartens, kindergartens, kindergarten-schools, etc.
The pre-primary education is designed to assist a child to prepare for school and to equalize the level of knowledge of all preschool pupils. The curriculum of this stage can be offered at schools of general education or by other education providers.
The curriculum of pre-primary education is standardized, while the curriculum of pre-school education is more individualized, designed by schools.
None of the stages of pre-school education are mandatory. Parents who decide to educate their children at home may receive pedagogical and psychological assistance.