Registration for places in the 170 city council-run nursery schools in Rome opened on 27 March. Parents with children from three months to three years old may apply for a place in the area where they live, in the area where a grandparent lives, in the area where one of the parents works or, in the case of separated parents, in the area where either one of the parents lives; only one application is permitted. Children born between 1 January 2004 and due to be born by 31 May 2006 who are resident in Rome may apply for a place for the school year 2006-2007, as may immigrant, Rom and stateless children who are not officially resident in the city.
Places are awarded according to the family and economic situation of the applicants, and lists of those being offered a place will be displayed in the local council offices by the end of May. The price of a place at the council nursery schools varies according to the parents income, but on average costs 146 per month for eight hours a day, five days a week, including lunch.
Last year more than 14,000 applications were made for the 5,000 places. Every year the number of children in Rome under the age of three increases and the number of places available in council owned nursery schools has gone from 8,321 in 2001 to 14,250 in 2004, which is still far from enough.
Applications close on 27 April and the forms may be downloaded from the council website, www.comune.roma.it/dipscuola .