It has been announced that nursery schools will gradually become free in Portugal, a process that will be completed by 2024.
Several studies confirm the importance, for very young children, of attending a quality nursery school, with positive life-long consequences. For that to be the case for most Portuguese children, it is essential to complement free nursery schools with other crucial policies.
According to Pedro Freitas, “While gratuity can be an important step, it is being implemented on top of a system where there are no available spots, where we know little about the quality of its conditions and practices and that will face a lack of teachers in the next few years. Without the implementation of these equally relevant practices, we cannot guarantee a quality service, most importantly to those children for whom nursery school and kindergarten have more weight as essential foundations of future development".
Read here the full article by Pedro Freitas, published in Portuguese newspaper "Observador" (only in Portuguese).