Early childhood education and care services

Lapsia leikkimässä. KUVA: OKMEarly childhood education and care is provided or arranged by local authorities or private service providers as centre-based early education activities and family-based daycare activities. Municipalities may also provide open early childhood and care activities.

The parents or guardians of the child decide whether or not their child participates in early childhood education and care. A client fee is charged for early childhood education and care organised by local authorities. The size of the fee depends on family size, income and the number of hours that the child takes part in early childhood education and care. Pre-primary education is provided free of charge. The prices for private early childhood education and care are determined by the service provider, and a family can receive a private childcare allowance to help cover these costs.

Early childhood education and care curriculum

The National Core Curriculum for Early Childhood Education and Care steers the implementation of early childhood education, and local curricula are drawn up on the basis of the Core Curriculum. The Finnish National Agency for Education decides on the core curriculum for early childhood education and care in accordance with the Early Childhood Education and Care Act. The National Core Curriculum for Early Childhood Education and Care will be updated to comply with the new Act. The current local curricula for early childhood education and care, drawn up on the basis of the current National Core Curriculum for Early Childhood Education and Care, were introduced on 1 August 2017.

A personal early childhood education plan is drawn up for each child at early education centres and family daycare premises. It consists of the objectives and measures to support the child's development, learning and wellbeing, and the need for special support where necessary.

The child's opinions and wishes must be asked when planning, implementing and assessing early childhood education and care. The child's parents or guardians must be allowed to take part and have a say in their child's early childhood education.

Contact information

Tarja Kahiluoto, Opetusneuvos 
OKM, Yleissivistävän koulutuksen ja varhaiskasvatuksen osasto, Yleissivistävän koulutuksen ja varhaiskasvatuksen vastuualue 0295330386  


Kirsi Alila, Opetusneuvos 
OKM, Yleissivistävän koulutuksen ja varhaiskasvatuksen osasto, Yleissivistävän koulutuksen ja varhaiskasvatuksen vastuualue 0295330365