The role of the nursery school

Kindergarten is an essential stage in students’ journey to ensure their academic success. Its main mission is make children want to go to school to learn, affirm and develop their personality.

It is a school where children go. learn together and live together. They develop their oral language and begin to discover writing, numbers and other areas of learning. They learn by playing, thinking and solving problems, practicing, remembering and memorizing.

(Enlarge) The daycare plan

Since the nursery school is decisive for the academic success of students and because it accommodates very young students, the professional development of its staff must be specifically adapted.

A children’s education plan is launched in 2022-2023 around three objectives:

1. Aim for the success of each student

  • Collectively define teaching objectives and propose progressions to achieve them.
  • Indicate objectives and rhythms adapted to support the harmonious development of the child.
  • Develop an articulated approach with extracurricular and early childhood care structures for educational continuity at the service of children’s learning and development.

2. Train staff

  • Deploy a massive policy of training and support for teachers in each academy following the example of the French and mathematics plans.
  • Identify effective practices to meet the needs of preschool children.

3. Innovate

  • Organize focus groups and local experiments.
  • Develop innovative projects that meet the needs of students.

Collaboration between nursery and early childhood

Children in their first year of schooling in nursery school come from very diverse backgrounds. : collective structures, home care, family environment. The kindergarten action plan considers these early years of schooling in a safe continuum for students and their families.

The organization of the early childhood education and care system in France is divided into two stages of child development: 0-3 and 3-6 years. Continuity must be based in particular on:

  • mutual knowledge of professions
  • sharing experience
  • a sharing of tools for the benefit of strengthening everyone’s professional skills through a better understanding of the challenges of both types of reception and schooling.

Daycare directors are especially encouraged to organize cross visits teachers in small schools or very small sections in child care centers (ECEC), on the one hand, and educators of young children in their schools, on the other.

Learning in kindergarten

Lessons are organized into five areas of learning :

  • Mobilize language in all its dimensions
  • Act, express yourself, understand through physical activity
  • Act, express oneself, understand through artistic activities.
  • Build the first tools to structure your thinking
  • Explore the world

Consult all the teaching programming of the nursery school

How the nursery school works

A nursery school includes Only nursery classes, from the small section to the senior section.. A primary school includes both nursery classes and primary classes, from the small section to CM2.

Since the start of the 2022 school year, class numbers in major sections have been limited to 24 students.

Education is compulsory from the age of three.

Children under three years of age can be educated in different foster care modalities:

  • in a nursery school class, specific and adapted to the needs of the little ones
  • in kindergarten classes with one or more levels
  • in a mixed environment, combining early childhood services and school, allowing school time to be offered in locally designed systems

Schooling from the age of three: a vademecum relating to the allocation of State financial resources to the attention of municipalities, or public establishments of inter-municipal cooperation (EPCI)

Article 11 of the law of July 26, 2019 for a trust school establishes compulsory education for children from 3 to 5 years old. This expansion of the educational obligation constitutes for the municipalities an expansion of powers that must give rise to an allocation of financial resources by the State.

The school principal

He exercises administrative and educational responsibilities and represents the institution with the municipality and the parents of the students. He is also, very often, in charge of a class.

The teachers council

He It is composed of the director and dare teachers assigned to school. It meets at least once a quarter.

the cycling council

It allows take stock of student progress and D’elaborate the educational project cycle and school.

the school council

It’s made up of :

  • of the school director, who presides
  • of all teachers assigned to the school
  • of the mayor and the municipal councilor responsible for school affairs
  • elected parent representatives (as many representatives as there are classes in the school)
  • of the departmental delegate of National Education responsible for visiting schools

It meets at least once a quarter. votes on the internal regulations of the school, establishes the educational organization of the school week. Gives opinions and suggestions on issues of interest to school life..

The National Education inspector in charge of the district may attend.

parents of students

Parents are full members of the educational community. The class teacher maintains a dialogue with them about their child’s situation. Parents, elected at each school, represent them on the school council.

Specialized territorial agents of nursery schools (Atsem)

HE Atsem are made available by the municipality.

The status of Atsem is defined by decree no. 92-850 of August 28, 1992, modified in 2018 (decree 2018-152 of March 1, 2018). Article 2 defines the missions of these agents as follows:

  • The specialized territorial agents of nursery schools are responsible for assisting teaching staff in the reception and hygiene of children in nursery or infant classrooms, as well as in the preparation and cleaning of the premises and equipment used directly for these children.
  • The specialized territorial agents of nursery schools belong to the educational community. They can participate in the execution of educational activities planned by teachers and under the responsibility of the latter. They can also help teachers in classes or establishments that welcome children with special educational needs.
  • In addition, they may be responsible for supervising children in daycare or in daycare classes in school catering establishments. They may also be in charge, during the day, of the missions provided for in the first paragraph and of providing extracurricular activities or during leisure activities outside the parental home of these children.


Cycle 1 : primary educational cycle (small section, middle section and large section of nursery school)

Cycle 2 : fundamental learning cycle (CP, CE1, CE2)

Cycle 3 : consolidation cycle (CM1, CM2, sixth)

Cycle 4 : cycle of deepening (fifth, fourth and third)


Site to consult

Nursery: areas of activity, child development and learning, elements of reflection, etc.

Are you a kindergarten teacher?

Three guides for teaching kindergarten have been sent to primary schools and are available on Éduscol:

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