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n Turkey, preschool education, which is optional, includes the education of children in the 3-5 years of age group, who are not at the age for obli- gatory primary education. Preschool education is given in kindergartens, preparatory classrooms, application classrooms, day nurseries, nursery schools, day-care homes, and child care homes by various ministries and institutions, and by the Ministry of National Education most of all. The children can benefit from these institutions for a full day or a half day.

Families pay a certain amount to have their children benefit from preschool education. The goal of preschool education is to help children develop physically, mentally and individually, and develop their ability to use language and prepare them for primary school. Where, and according to what priorities, the preschool educational institutions will be opened are determined with a regulation prepared by the Ministry of National Education.

Efforts are underway for spreading preschool education, for informing public opinion and for the development and standardization of educational materials and equipment. In this direction, in an amendment made to the Regulations for Private Educational Institutions connected to the Ministry of National Education, it has been made compulsory for primary schools to open at least one preparatory classroom.

There are 8,5 million children in the 0-6 years of age group in Turkey and 30 percent of them consists of children in the 5-6 years of age group. The present rate of 8.9 percent schooling for preschool education is aimed to be increased to 16 percent by the end of 2000.