Morning and afternoon activities
Morning and afternoon activities are activities held outside the scope of lessons before and after school, and are intended for year 1 and 2 pupils as well as pupils with special needs. Local authorities in municipalities make all decisions on arranging these activities. Children's participation in morning and afternoon activities is voluntary.
Objectives and content
Under the Basic Education Act (628/1998), the aim of morning and afternoon activities is to support the educational efforts of the home and the school as well as the child's emotional and ethical development, to promote children's wellbeing and equality in society, prevent exclusion and support inclusion and to offer children versatile opportunities for participating in guided, recreational and safe activities, as well as to allow children to rest in a peaceful environment under the supervision of a professional, who is suited for the task.
The Finnish National Agency for Education makes decisions on the objectives and key content of these activities in accordance with the national core curriculum for morning and afternoon activities, on the basis of which local authorities compile action plans. The local authorities are responsible for ensuring that activities are arranged in accordance with regulations.
The local authorities make decisions on the monthly fees charged for morning and afternoon activities. The fee may be at most 120 euros for 570 hours and at most 160 euros for 760 hours. The Act on Basic Education includes more specific provisions on the determination of fees.
Instructions related to arranging activities and staff requirements
The local authorities do not have a statutory duty to organise morning and afternoon activities. The State allocates central government transfers to local authorities to cover costs for arranging morning and afternoon activities. If local authorities do arrange morning and afternoon activities, these must be organised for a period of either 570 or 760 hours over the school's work year for each child participating in such activities. The activities are arranged on working days before and after school between 7.00 and 17.00. Participants must be offered a snack.
Local authorities can arrange morning and afternoon activities independently or together with other local authorities or outsource the services from organisations, associations or parishes, for instance. The activities can be arranged in a school, an early childhood education facility or another suitable location.
The local authorities provide information on the locations and schedules for the activities and on how to apply for participation. When admitting children to morning and afternoon activities, the selection criteria must be the same for everyone.
The qualification requirements for morning and afternoon activity instructors are laid down in the Teaching Qualifications Decree (986/1998). The criminal record of those employed in morning and afternoon activities will be reviewed.