Pre-elementary state education

Children aged 3 to 6 must attend the nursery school in the commune where they live and subject to availability if the child reaches 2 the first day of the school year. Attendance is compulsory to help children develop and get used to community life.
Classes are divided into 3 sections by age: the "petite section" for the youngest, the intermediate or "moyenne section", and the "grande section" for the oldest.
The "Guide pratique sur l'école maternelle" contains a wealth of practical information, including details of school hours and curricula.

Which school should I contact?

Your local town hall ("mairie") will inform you of the school for the sector where you live.

How can I apply for a "dérogation" (special dispensation) if I don't live in the commune of the school I want my child to attend?

Write to the school board ("Commission Scolaire") at the town hall of the commune in which the school is located.
Each application is examined on its merits.

Where should I go to complete the enrolment formalities?

You should go to the town hall in the commune where you live in order to register. Once you have done this, contact the school itself to arrange for your child to be enrolled.
The school or the town hall will be able to tell you the enrolment dates and times.

Which documents do I need to provide?

  • Your special residence permit ("titre de séjour spécial") issued through CERN,
  • The registration certificate issued by the town hall (in the case of children who have not been attending school in the same sector),
  • The livret de famille (family record book) or an equivalent document (birth certificate),
  • A document certifying that the child has had the requisite vaccinations for his age,
  • A personal liability insurance certificate ("assurance responsabilité civile"),
  • Proof of your place of residence.

Which vaccinations are compulsory (except where there are medically certified contraindications)?

The Td-Polio vaccination (tetanus, diphtheria, polio) is compulsory.
Other vaccinations are strongly recommended: measles, mumps, rubella (MMR).

Can my child be admitted if he does not speak French?

Yes, he will be admitted to a class corresponding to his age group. He will pick up French naturally through classroom interaction.

What are the school hours?

The school week is 24 hours long, divided into 9 half-days: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays mornings only, Thursdays and Fridays. 
Contact the school concerned to find out the weekly timetable or consult the French Ministry of National Education and Youth web page.

Which school curriculum will my child follow?

You can consult the curriculum your child will follow here (French only).

Are school meals available and will my child be supervised outside teaching time?

Most nursery schools provide a canteen service and after-school child-minding facilities in the mornings before school begins and in the evenings after school ends.
Information is available from the town hall.