Vicenza has 113.000 inhabitants, is situated between Venice and Verona in the hearth of Veneto region, one of the 5 Italian regions with the highest welfare overall. The rank is drawn up considering the average income of the citizens, that reveals also a high development and a high employment rate, both male and female (the unemployment rate in Vicenza amounts to 4,8%).
In order to meet the needs of the families in which both parents work, the service provision concerning early childhood has increased and diversified in the past years; the number of “asilo nido” and “scuola dell’infanzia” raised, as well as other kind of services such as rec centers, after-school clubs, summer camps and much more.
Before deeply talking about the different kind of services for the early childhood, it is better to basically know how the Italian school system is organized:
0-3 years ASILO NIDO
3-6 years SCUOLA DELL’INFANZIA
6-11 years SCUOLA PRIMARIA
11-14 years SCUOLA SECONDARIA DI I GRADO
14-19 years SCUOLA SECONDARIA DI II GRADO
The compulsory education in Italy is foreseen from 6 to 16 years. The names of the schools are really important and are established from the Italian law. That’s why in the article we mention the Italian names, as the English names sometimes refer to other age brackets.
Regarding age bracket 0-3, there are different types of facilities, each one with its own peculiarities:
- asilo nido: day care center
- micronido: day care center which can host maximum 20 children
- nido integrato: day care center situated in the same building of the nursery school and kindergarten and linked with them
- centro d’infanzia: like “asilo nido”, but wider and with more facilities
- nido aziendale: corporate child care
- nido in famiglia: tagesmutter – family child care
- atelier: a center where children can go for a couple of hours a week, inspired by Reggio Ateliers.
Regarding age bracket 3-6, at present in Veneto region there are 139.000 children and 1.760 “scuole dell’infanzia”, that means a school per 79 children. “Scuola dell’infanzia” can be state or “paritaria”, that means owned by local public authorities or private.
Some “asilo nido” and “scuola dell’infanzia” of our city take inspiration from particular pedagogical trends: Montessori, Steiner, Waldorf, Reggio Children (Loris Malaguzzi), Catholic. In order to promote a 360-degree child development, every facility realizes specific projects, sometimes also with the engagement of external experts: psychomotor education, sport activities (also in special facilities eg. in the swimming-pool), nutritional education, music projects, teaching foreign languages, and others.
UPDATED February 2017