800+ is not for everyone. The change will mainly affect some Ukrainians

800+ is not for everyone.  The change will mainly affect some Ukrainians

Who is eligible for the 800+ benefit and Good Start, i.e. PLN 300 for a school starter kit? The amendment signed by President Andrzej Duda changes the rules for granting the benefit. They will primarily affect some Ukrainians living in our country.

As a rule, 800+ is available to every minor child up to the age of 18 (it is granted to children and young people with disabilities under different rules). On Friday, June 7, the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, signed an amendment to the act on assistance to citizens of Ukraine in connection with the armed conflict on the territory of this country and certain other acts.

800+ and Good start after the amendment

It introduces several changes and connects parents' receipt of PLN 800+ with whether the child completes compulsory schooling in a Polish school. It can be at any level: obligation of one-year kindergarten preparation,

  • compulsory schooling,

  • obligation to study in a kindergarten or school belonging to the Polish education system.

  • obligation to study in a kindergarten or school belonging to the Polish education system.

The exception are children who are too young for kindergarten. Nurseries are not compulsory, so money will be paid regardless of whether such children stay at home or attend an institution.

On the same principle, PLN 300 will be paid under the Good Start program.

The changes will not apply immediately because the new benefit period for 800+ has already started and the law does not apply retroactively. Linking compulsory schooling with the payment of benefits will be in force from June 1, 2025.

The government wants to encourage students from Ukraine to come to our schools

The amended regulations are intended to convince parents from abroad to send their children to Polish schools, because some of them study online in schools in Ukraine. What number are we talking about? During a conference devoted to new legal solutions regarding students from Ukraine in Polish schools, Deputy Minister of Education Joanna Mucha said that since February 24, 2022, during the first three months of the war in Ukraine, 3 million refugees from Ukraine have arrived in Poland , of which 43 percent these were children up to 17 years old.

– We do not know exactly how many of them stayed in Poland, but we know that 145,000 of the refugees who came to us after Russia's attack on Ukraine are still studying in Polish schools. Ukrainian children and 34 thousand in Polish kindergartens – she said.

Ukraine returns to full-time learning

Mucha noted that many, most often mothers, but also parents, did not send their children to a Polish school. Often the reason for such a decision, she added, was the belief that they would return to Ukraine very quickly. However, time passes and families still live in Poland and make plans for the future with our country.

– We will invite these children to a Polish school. From September 1, they will be obliged to attend school and they will go to Polish schools, said Mucha.

Those students who would have entered their final year of secondary school in the fall will be exempt from compulsory schooling. – We decided that (…) they did not have a chance to learn all of Polish culture, all of Polish literature and history in one year, Mucha explained.

She assured that the Ministry of National Education will help the Ukrainian side in conducting the secondary school leaving examinations for them. She added that the process of introducing compulsory schooling for children from Ukraine had been agreed with the Ukrainian side. Ukraine itself is moving away from distance learning. “I am deeply convinced that both the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian community will find full understanding of our program,” she assured.

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