Spring section: what it is and how it works

Source: Shutterstock

A service born as an experimental project, dedicated to children between 24 and 36 months, which is configured as a means of connection between the nursery and the kindergarten.

And the spring section (also known as the experimental section aggregated to the kindergarten and infant-toddler centers), a special educational path that was established with the law of 27 December 2006, n. 296 article 1 paragraph 630 (financial law 2007) and included in the integrated education and training system from birth up to six years, provided for by legislative decree no. 65 of 13 April 2022 in article 2, paragraph 3, letter b).

This is a service provided and partly financed by the State, managed through agreements with the Regions in cooperation with the Municipalities.

Among its objectives, as the trade unions underline, is "to oppose advances and to ensure children between two and three years of age to attend an educational context suitable for them and not expensive for families", but also that of to facilitate families who do not find a place in the nursery, or to offer an educational possibility in those places where there are no infant-toddler centers.

In addition, it has the purpose of "favoring an effective continuity of the training path along the chronological axis of 0-6 years of age" as stated in the institutive norm.

In this article


  • What are the spring sections 
  • The requirements of the spring section 
  • What is done in a spring section
  • Who teaches in the spring sections
  • How much does the spring section cost
  • Nursery or spring section?

What are the spring sections

The spring sections can be created by public entities (state or municipal preschools or municipal infant-toddler centers) or private entities (private infant-toddler centers affiliated with the Municipalities, parity preschools), who have submitted a project to the Regional School Office and have obtained the consent of the Municipality which plays the role of "regulatory" body.

The methods of operation and overall management of the spring sections are the subject of specific agreements that the State signs with the Regions and with ANCI (National Association of Municipalities of the Paeseni).

However, there are three main cornerstones on which these classes are based throughout the country:

  • respect for the particular age group of the children attending;
  • inspiration for pedagogical quality criteria;
  • the flexibility and originality of the organizational solutions.
Read also: He does not want to go to kindergarten

The requirements of the spring section

The functioning of the spring sections is entrusted to territorial agreements stipulated by the Regional School Offices in agreement with the regional ANCI, which can establish specific rules on the basis of the latest Framework Agreement of 1 August 2022, the validity of which has been reconfirmed.

Among the requirements valid for all we find:

  • with some exceptions, access to the service for children aged between 24 and 36 months who turn two years of age on a date between 1 January and 31 December of the reference school year. For children who turn 24 months of age between September 1st and December 31st, admission to attendance can be set at the age of two;
  • compared to the kindergarten, the spring section must be set up in specific places, suitable for the needs of children from a functional and safety point of view. These spaces must also respond to the different needs of children of this age group, in particular: hospitality, rest, play, nutrition, personal care, etc .;
  • the setting up of the spaces with furnishings, materials, internal and external structures, capable of qualifying the educational environment as a context for life, relationships and learning;
  • the creation of a small group of children, generally between 10 and 20 for each section. In some specific situations, for example in mountainous areas or small islands, the minimum number can be 5 children;
  • a teacher / child ratio that cannot exceed 1 to 10 (generally 1 to 6 in the nursery school), defined taking into account the age of the children, the hourly extension of the service, the size of the group and the characteristics of the project educational;
  • a flexible timetable (which includes a basic time module of 6 hours and an extended hours of up to 8/9 hours);
  • the preparation of a program of consultancy, technical assistance, pedagogical coordination, monitoring and evaluation that guarantees the complete reliability from the educational point of view of the new service started.

What is done in a spring section

The intent of the spring sections is to do not repeat what you would do last year of nest or at the first of primary school.

Among the requirements of a spring section there is also the structuring of an ad hoc pedagogical program, which is based on the concept of "learning through an environment of educational care, therefore with a strong attention to the theme of hospitality, well-being, corporeality, the accompaniment of the first forms of language, creativity, imagination" reads the site of the Municipality of our city.

Read also: How to overcome a 'difficult' placement in kindergarten

Who teaches in the spring sections

The staff must be professionally suitable for the specific age group of the children, with particular attention to the support of individuals with disabilities included in the section.

In our city, for example, «The team of educators is made up of two nursery school teachers and a nursery school educator. Combining two different professions wants to seal, with an integrated team, the idea of ​​a transition age in which to focus not only on the needs of children (care, well-being, autonomy) but also their potential (logical, linguistic, learning in general), indeed not by contrasting "care" with "learning" but by seeing them as two interacting aspects of development ».

How much does the spring section cost

The fees of the spring sections vary according to the entity that manages the service. Those operating in the municipal schools or in the municipal infant-toddler centers of our city, for example, relate to the ISEE presented by the family: attendance is free up to 6.500 euros of income; up to € 12.500 is € 51,50 per month; up to 27 thousand euros goes up to 116 euros; over 27 thousand is 232,5 euros per month.

In any case, the fee for attending the spring section is tax deductible.

Nursery or spring section?

At the age of two, parents can then choose whether to send a child to the nursery or to the spring section. «The criterion of choice should always be calibrated on the child. If he is already attending the nursery, it is preferable to let him finish the path to guarantee continuity and to avoid a further passage »explains Elisabetta Rossini, of the Rossini-Urso family consultancy firm and co-author of the book" Children must be children ".

If, on the other hand, the child has remained at home until then, «the spring section option is ideal, also because the class is part of the kindergarten that he will attend for the next three years. Also in this case, the perspective of continuity prevails ».

Next to these criteria is added a evaluation of type economic: the spring section, in fact, costs much less than the nest. "If the parents decide for this step, the advice is to discuss with the educators to evaluate together the skills, the level of autonomy, socialization, the ability to concentrate and attention and understand if the little one is ready for this step or not. ".

The important thing is not to decide to enroll your child in spring because you are afraid that you will not learn enough at the nursery: "the activities offered in this structure are designed specifically for babies from 0 to 36 months".

Read also: How the Steiner kindergarten works

Questions and answers

What is the spring section? 

The spring section (also called the experimental section aggregated to kindergarten and infant-toddler centers) is a special educational path established by law no. 27 article 2006 paragraph 296 (financial law 1).

What does the spring section consist of? 

The spring section is a service born as an experimental project, dedicated to children between 24 and 36 months, which connects the nursery and the kindergarten.

What is the goal of the spring sections? 

Among the requirements of a spring section there is the structuring of an ad hoc pedagogical program.

  • children at school
  • kindergarten
  • nursery
  • spring section
  • 1-2 children years
add a comment of Spring section: what it is and how it works
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.