In France, preschool is known as école maternelle (French for "nursery school", literally "maternal school"). Free maternelle schools are available throughout the country, welcoming children aged from 3 to 5 (although in many places, children under three may not be granted a place). The ages are divided into grande section (GS: 5-year-olds), moyenne section (MS: 4-year-olds), petite section (PS: 3-year-olds) and toute petite section (TPS: 2-year-olds). It became compulsory in 2018 for all children aged 3. Even before the 2018 law, almost all children aged 3 to 5 attended école maternelle. It is regulated by the Ministry of National Education.