Education is not only a fundamental right but also a powerful tool for empowering individuals and fostering social integration. By enrolling children in local schools, one can provide them with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities they need to build a successful future in their new community. To support parents in this endeavor, below are some incentives and benefits of school enrollment.
Good Start programme – 300 PLN subsidy for school year beginning
The government’s “Good Start” program is an investment in the education of Polish children. It is 300 PLN of one-time support for all students starting the school year. Families will receive the benefit regardless of income.
The Good Start benefit is due once a year for a child studying in school until he or she reaches the age of 20. For a disabled child studying at school, the benefit is due until the child turns 24.
To receive the support, an application must be filed. This can be done by the mother, father, or legal guardian of the child.
Online applications can be submitted, as in previous years, from July 1 to November 30 via the Emp@tia information and service portal at, via electronic banking or the ZUS PUE portal.
Applying in July or August guarantees payment of the benefit no later than September 30. When the application is submitted in subsequent months (September, October, or November), the support will go to the family within 2 months of the application.
The Good Start benefit does not apply to children attending kindergarten and children realizing annual kindergarten preparation in the so-called “nursery school” in kindergarten or school. The government’s Good Start program also does not cover students.
Nursery incentive – up to 400PLN
As of April 1, 2022, families can apply to Social Security (ZUS) for a subsidy to reduce the fee for a child’s stay at a nursery, children’s club, or day care provider. The right to a subsidy does not depend on family income.
The subsidy amounts to a maximum of PLN 400 per month per child, but no more than the amount of the fee that the family bears for the stay of the child in a nursery, children’s club or with a day care provider (the fee does not include the fee for food).
Entitled to a subsidy is:
- a parent/ legal guardian of a child attending a nursery, children’s club or using the care of a day care provider;
- a parent/ legal guardian that do not receive family care capital (RKO) for that child
Subsidy is for a child attending a nursery, children’s club or day care provider who:
- is the first and only one in the family;
- is the first in the family, if the family receives RKO for another child;
- the second and subsequent in the family, which is either less than 12 months old or more than 35 months old and for which Social Security has granted RKO and the family has collected RKO in the total amount to which the family is entitled.
Means-tested free lunch for children from families with low income
Government program “Meal at school and at home” for 2019-2023.
A free meal at school can be given to those children whose families have low incomes. According to current indicators, the amount per person in the family cannot exceed 1200 PLN.
Applications for a reimbursed meal at school are accepted by Social Support Centres – municipal or communal, depending on the child’s place of residence. The application for co-financing of school lunches must include:
- personal data of the person submitting the application,
- the personal data of the child concerned,
- details of the school attended by the child and indication of the class in which the child is studying,
- a reasoned request for aid in the form of a hot meal or a cash benefit for the purchase of a meal or food.
Free bus if school is away
The child’s journey from home to school must not exceed:
- 3 km for pupils in grades I to IV of primary schools,
- 4 km for pupils in grades V to VIII of primary schools.
The obligation to organize transport of the pupil arises when the student’s journey to school exceeds the mentioned distances. In this case, the municipality is obliged to provide free transport and care during the child’s transport or reimbursement of the costs of transport of the child by public transport, if the transport is provided by the parents, and until the child reaches the age of 7 – also reimbursement of the costs of transport of the child’s guardian by public transport.
The municipality’s obligation is also to organize transport for pupils with special educational needs
Regarding the Law on School Education, a municipality is obliged to provide pupils/students with disabilities (whose education and upbringing takes place on the basis of Article 127), with free transport and care during transport to the nearest primary school, and pupils/students with motor disabilities, including aphasia, moderate or severe intellectual disability, also to the nearest post-primary school, until the end of the school year in the calendar year in which the pupil reaches the age of 21.
Prevention for mental illness
Children with migration and war experience are at risk of developing mental illness. It is worth remembering that contact with peers and the opportunity to interact in a school environment builds mental resilience and can serve as a preventive measure for depression, anxiety and other illnesses. In turn, when problems arise, schools in Poland also offer psychological and pedagogical support and a supportive environment for parents and have referral systems for specialized facilities.
Career guidance and counselling
Enrolling in school is beneficial for children and adolescents seeking their learning and career pathway. Career guidance and counselling in schools is available for all students. Compulsory career guidance classes are organized for students in grade 7 and 8 of primary school, and in secondary schools, to support students in selecting the next stage of their education and occupation. Students can also receive vocational guidance and career development support through individual consultations.
Recognition of Polish diplomas in Ukraine
If a Ukrainian family is resistant to enroll their child in Polish system out of fear of lost possibility for continuation of education back in Ukraine, they should be informed about Ukrainian regulations confirming recognition of school diplomas abroad.