Map of Preschools in Lebanon, By Najla Nusayr Bachour
Education in preschools is characterized by decentralization even within the government framework itself. There is no particular central authority in charge of preschools that would set policies, determine objectives, criteria, and conditions and that would propose necessary legislations. In fact, there are several government bodies in charge of the preschool stage, whether within the Ministry of Education or outside it. The Ministry sets no conditions on preschool education or on its teachers except those conditions specified for elementary education. In the year 2000, preschool came to encompass three classes for children aged 3-6. Government legislations lack any reference to children with special needs. Preschools included 33.9% of children aged 3-4 and 61.7% of children aged 4-6. The private sector, in both its free and regular forms, attracts a higher percentage of children and is centered in major cities, while public sector is centered in areas away from the capital and outside major cities.