On June1, Moscow is transforming into a city for children. Workshops, quests, games, performances with tea and cartoon festivals are held for children. They learn how to take artistic pictures and make kaleidoscopes with colourful sand, how to dance and how to make ice cream with nitrogen. This is how parks, sports centres, museums and galleries celebrate International Children’s Day.
However, this is not the only day Moscow is a children’s city. Moscow cares for future mothers, provides benefits for parents and sends children to summer camps for educational sessions as well as organises free clubs, school days at museums and technoparks, and interesting Moscow Pupil’s Saturdays. The city builds new schools and kindergartens based on the latest standards: with bright facades, comfortable classrooms, photo studios, labs and swimming pools.
Moscow gives young citizens many opportunities to receive a high-quality education. Today, there is no need to search for a special school: the USE and school Olympiad results in all Moscow schools have significantly improved. The Moscow Electronic School has also made the learning process more interesting. There is also the Smart City School that gives lectures where children learn how technology has changed the world, what the internet of things is and how far robot technology will go. This programme has become a dialogue with children, who not only listen but propose ideas of their own.
For those who start thinking about their job at school, there is a system of pre-vocational education. Schools have engineering, medical, academic and cadet classes. Pupils can try their hand at a job to see if they have made the right choice. Schools have the most advanced equipment, starting from electronic cross-trainers to atomic-force microscopes.
Not just in school: Museums for Children, technoparks and Moscow Pupil’s Saturdays
Today, all city resources are involved in the education process: not just education institutions, but also museums, technoparks and even companies. Over 90 museums participating in the Museums for Children programme are free for pupils year-round. They hold tours and extracurricular classes in chemistry, physics, biology, history and other subjects. Participants can learn many interesting facts, for example about the world through a microscope, the estate culture, World War II and much more.
Children’s technoparks also hold interesting lessons. High-school students learn robotics, geoinformatics, 3D-modelling, design and many other disciplines. For example, beginner aviators are taught how to design and assemble drones, and roboteers, how to construct and programme robots.
Lectures, workshops and tours held under the Moscow Pupil’s Saturdays programme improve general erudition. Lessons held as part of University Saturdays are held by lecturers from leading universities. They are dedicated to various topics such as the secrets of diplomatic receptions, Indian literature, cryptocurrencies and spacecraft engines. Historical Saturdays are dedicated to Russia’s past; Art Saturdays include workshops on painting, music, photo and design; TV Saturdays teach how to shoot news reports; and IT Saturdays are dedicated to graphics and programming languages.
Summer vacations outside Moscow and at Moscow camps
Moscow has also thought about how to keep children occupied in the summer. Children with benefits receive city vouchers to camps in the Moscow Region and the Black and Azov seas, the Volga and other Russian regions and in Belarus. This year, Moscow has organised summer vacations for more than 100,000 children. They will be accompanied by team leaders: university and college students trained at the Central Team Leader School.
Those who don’t leave the city can attend day camps and summer educational sessions. This year, children aged 7–14 can go to 247 day centres that are open weekdays 9 am – 7 pm. The session at sports organisations will be held from June 1–29 and July 2–30 and on June 1–29 for educational sessions. There will also be three sessions at social organisations: June 1–29, July 2–30 and August 1–28.
The programme includes tours, workshops, PE classes, contests, discussions, quizzes, professional orientation lessons and games. Participants will visit the Moscow Zoo, Moscow Planetarium, Moscow State History Museum, Moscow Kremlin Museums, Darwin Museum, Moskvarium and other cultural institutions. Registration for the first session is already closed, but will open for the second session on June 25–29.
Benefits, gift sets and online certificates for families with children
Moscow has introduced a system of benefits and subsidies for today’s and future parents. Pregnant women can receive financial aid before the baby is born.
Mothers leave maternity hmes with gifts. A kit includes 44 items, such as clothes, bedclothes, personal hygiene and feeding items.
After the baby is born, its parents receive 5,500 roubles for the first baby and 14,500 for the second and the next ones. If triplets are born, the family receives 50,000 roubles. If both parents are less than 30 years old, they receive a sum equal to five minimum wages for their first child (seven for a second child and ten for the next ones).
There also are additional benefits for students, families with low income and families with many children, as well as single parents, families with children with disabilities, military personnel’s families and foster parents. Those who find themselves in a difficult life situation can receive an online certificate that can be used to buy food, clothes, shoes, toys and other children’s things as well as durable goods.
There also are benefits for the children themselves, namely for those who are pupils or college students. They can visit museums free, receive discounts at some shops and top up their transit cards at a decreased price using their social cards.