The e-Kindergartens project won the Creativity and Innovation Award 2012 in the category of Creative and Innovative Local Government Unit – City, awarded by the Development and Creativity Network. The nominees were put forward by a jury comprised of professors, consultants and marketing and media experts dedicated to social development. The award ceremony was held on 25 October 2012 at the Croatian National Theatre in Varaždin, this year’s city of creativity and innovation.
An informational system, e-kindergartens, has been introduced in Pula for the management of pre-school institutions, educational groups and children of pre-school age from their enrolment into kindergarten until the time they leave for primary school.
As the first and at present only town in Croatia, Pula has connected its new information system with the information system of the MUP (Ministry of the Interior) for automatic and free checking of OIB numbers (personal identification number) as well as the residential address of children and parents.
The parents have thus saved time and money, and the system has shown that it is possible for cities, if the cooperation with the ministries is good, to decrease red tape and simplify communication with citizens.
The new model saves parents from Pula more than HRK one million in expenses each year; all processes are automated and electronic and, what is most important, they are public and transparent so that any citizen can gain insight into the priority list for enrolment into kindergartens published on the internet. Parents may see the gathered enrolment points and appeal if necessary.
Thanks to the system, data on the number of enrolled children, free spots, the age of children, children's contact data, data on their paediatricians, possible special needs and other data are available to the town of Pula at any moment.
What was intended to be achieved and what was indeed achieved?
The pre-school programme on the territory of the town of Pula is performed by two pre-school institutions at 25 facilities whose founder is the Town of Pula and by 23 pre-school institutions, private kindergartens. The total number of children is around 2,200 at 48 locations.
The Town of Pula wanted to achieve a public and transparent enrolment process into pre-school institutions with an information system that provides insight into all pre-school institutions and all enrolled children daily, in real time and with monitoring of all the most important data of a child from kindergarten up to the time when the child leaves for school.
Furthermore, the intent was to prevent manipulation with enrolment into pre-school institutions, reduce costs and simplify the enrolment process for parents as well as modernise public administration and bring it closer to citizens.
As an important goal, timely insight into free spots in pre-school institutions was emphasized, so that the opening of new educational groups can be planned. An important determinant of the project is also the possibility of having insight into the public money expenditure for pre-school subsidies.
A multidisciplinary team of 7 employees of the Town of Pula and pre-school institutions participated in the project realisation, while the information system e-kindergartens was developed by the companies KING ICT d.o.o. from Zagreb and Novatec d.o.o. from Labin.