The growing manifestation of multiculturalism in Lithuania has been prompting the educational community and education policy makers to pay more attention to the issues related to quality education for bilingual and multilingual children. Due to the lack of experience in analyzing this phenomenon, certain previous studies on multilingualism have created a basis that leads to underestimation of the importance of multilingualism at an early age. In recent years attitudes towards multilingual education have been changing. More effective language learning is becoming one of the priority areas of education.
Building on the analysis of scientific and methodological literature, the article presents the situation, issues and prospects of multilingualism in Lithuanian pre-school education institutions.
A multilingual environment and properly selected methods enable the child of pre-school age to naturally learn several languages. Therefore, early learning of a foreign language is gaining popularity in Lithuania, and in terms of children with other nationalities, it is aimed at creation of favorable conditions for them to learn the official Lithuanian language.
The article also reviews the organizational models and methods of multilingual education, best practice of multilingual and multicultural kindergartens in Lithuania, challenges faced by the pre-school education institutions in terms of multilingualism, emphasizes the necessity and possibilities for development of teachers' multicultural competence.