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Publication of recommendations for developing education and training provision and programmes in early childhood education and care

Ministry of Education and Culture
14.1.2021 12.00
Press release

The recommendations of the Forum for Developing Education and Training Provision and Programmes in Early Childhood Education and Care indicate the way for developing education and training provision and programmes in early childhood education and care (ECEC). The recommendations facilitate broader cooperation between education providers and stakeholders.

"High-quality early childhood education and care is important for both children themselves and society as a whole. It helps reduce learning disparities across different educational levels and contributes to reducing social inequality. Education and training provision and programmes in early childhood education and care must develop in line with society's needs, and these recommendations respond to this need," said Minister of Education Jussi Saramo.

“We have been aware of the demand for education and training provision and programmes in early childhood education for years. The Ministry has played a significant role in achieving an increase in the volume of student places in this sector and in advocating various projects to develop education and training programmes in early childhood education and care. The most important thing is to make sure we have qualified ECEC personnel all over Finland,” said Minister of Science and Culture Annika Saarikko.

According to the recommendations, the way to respond to the rapidly changing operating environment is to ensure professional competence, which must be based on basic qualification and degree programmes in ECEC that draw on evidence-based data. Growing and changing knowledge of early childhood education and care is acquired by investing in continuing education and further education over the course of professional paths in ECEC. 

To respond to the labour demand in early childhood education and care, a sufficient student intake and flexible education and training paths are needed. A separate long-term plan must be drawn up for the organisation of education and training programmes for Swedish-speaking and Saami-speaking personnel and for those with a migrant background.

Developing ECEC education and training provision and programmes in cooperation across educational boundaries strengthens the entire field and supports research-based education and training. Cooperation with the actors in working life increases awareness of the new contents of the education and training programmes and, on the other hand, the needs of working life can be taken into account in the content of education. 

By understanding and communicating the societal significance of ECEC work, and the creative but demanding nature of the work, promote the attractiveness of ECEC work. Better working conditions and educational opportunities, in turn, help keep professionals in the sector.

The Forum, whose mandate was from 2019 to 2020, brought together actors from different levels and forms of education that provide education and training for ECEC professionals. Besides the recommendations, the Forum’s work aimed to build a common understanding and to form an overall regional picture.

Putting the recommendations into practice requires separate and joint practical measures by a number of different actors. The next step is to draw up a concrete action plan based on the recommendations of the Forum for Developing Education and Training Provision and Programmes in Early Childhood Education and Care. The Ministry will set up a working group at the beginning of 2021 tasked with preparing the action plan. 

Inquiries

  • Professor Kirsti Karila, Chair of the Forum, tel.  +358 50 396 9675
  • Aija Töytäri, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 330 197
  • Kirsi Alila, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 330 365
  • Anne Mårtensson, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 330 104