Complete Guide to Preschool Enrollment in France - Steps & Tips

Table of Contents


What is it?

Preschool, or maternelle, as it is known in France, is a form of education for children below the compulsory school age. It provides a crucial step in preparing your child for the more structured learning environment of primary school.

Who needs it?

This service is needed by parents of children who have reached the age where they are ready to begin their educational journey. This is typically when the child is 2-3 years old.


  1. Begin by identifying the preschool your child should go to depending on your place of residence.
  2. Reach out to the school or check their website for specific enrollment process as it can vary from one school to another.
  3. Fill out the enrollment forms provided by the school. This usually includes providing information about your child and your family situation.
  4. Gather all the necessary documents (see below for list).
  5. Submit your completed enrollment forms along with the required documents.
  6. Wait for the school to process your application. They may call you in for an interview or to further discuss your application.
  7. Once approved, you will receive a confirmation, and your child will be officially registered to start the academic year.

Required Documents

You will need the following documents to process a preschool enrolment:

  • Proof of address (such as a utility bill or rental agreement)
  • Your child’s birth certificate
  • Vaccination records of your child

Providers that can do it for you

(We are currently curating the best providers. If you are or know a provider, please contact us or edit the page directly)


Additional details

The registration process, timelines and requirements may vary slightly from one school to another. It is therefore important to reach out to your chosen school well in advance to understand their specific procedures and requirements. Always keep copies of all the documents you submit for your records.

In France, while attending preschool (maternelle) is not mandatory, it is common and well-regarded, providing a good foundation for your child’s education.


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