Child care in Panama


Education in Panama is compulsory as from 6 years. In general, children attend pre-primary school as from 3 years.

If you are moving to Panama with less than 6 years old children, you will definitely have queries on the country's child care system. Above all, you should know that the day care system is not very elaborate although the education system is modern and developed. But child care services are still available. Your choice will largely depend on your availability and your financial means.

Education system

Education in Panama is compulsory as from 6 years old, that is at the primary level. It is universal, free and compulsory at the primary level. But preprimary education is equally important, although it is optional. In fact, the country hosts many pre-primary schools and nurseries where you can entrust your more than three years old and less than six years old children. However, you will not find public pre-primary schools in Panama.

Most Panamanian nurseries and pre-primary schools are private. Child care centers generally welcome one year and eight months old children. These are open for at least four hours per day. Your child will grow up in a professional and well regulated environment. They will learn through the colors and shapes recognition, songs and nursery rhymes, etc. Your child will attend preprimary school at 5 years. He will then be introduced to the letters of the alphabet, numbers, etc.


Your child must be 5 years old in May to be enrolled in pre-primary school as the school year begins in March. Otherwise, he will have to wait another year to be registered. The documents required for registration are:

  • your identification documents
  • your child's birth certificate and health record
  • your child's vaccination certificate
  • proof of address.

 Good to know:

Your child must be immunized against tetanus, polio, diphtheria, whooping cough, to be admitted to pre-primary school.

Admissions fees may cost around US$ 8,000 according to the school's level. Monthly fees may be of the same amount.


If you have less than one year old children, you can also hire a nanny. The latter will take care of your children until the age of 10 years. You can find a nanny through word-of-mouth or through a recognized agency.

 Useful link:

Ministry of Education of Panama

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