Legislation on early childhood education and care

lakikirjoja. KUVA: OKM

Early childhood education and care is part of the education and training services, and therefore it falls within the mandate of the Ministry of Education and Culture. The new Act on Early Childhood Education and Care (540/2018) entered into force on 1 September 2018.

Act on Early Childhood Education and Care (540/2018):
The Act on Early Childhood Education and Care lays down provisions on the right of a child to early childhood education and care, organisation and provision of early childhood education and care, and the data repository for early childhood education and care. The Act applies to early childhood education and care arranged or provided by a municipality, joint municipal authority and independent service provider at an early education centre or as family daycare. Furthermore, the Act is applied, where appropriate, to the arrangement and provision of open early childhood education and care activities.

The new Act on Early Childhood Education and Care entered into force on 1 September 2018. The most significant amendments concern early childhood education and care staff and development of data production within early childhood education and care.

The previous Act on Early Childhood Education and Care (36/1973), earlier entitled the Child Day Care Act, remained in force until 31 August 2018.

Government Decree on Early Childhood Education and Care (753/2018):
The Decree contains provisions on the number and composition of staff at early education centres and in family daycare, on the studies leading to qualification as a childcarer in early childhood education and care, and on the eligibility of a family daycare childminder to work as a childcarer in early childhood education and care.

Until 31 August 2018, as long as the previous Act on Early Childhood Education and Care (36/1973) was in force, the Child Day Care Decree (239/1973) was applied.

Provisions on the documents to be attached to a notification under the notification procedure for a private service provider are laid down in the Decree of the Ministry of Education and Culture (772/2018).

Basic Education Act (628/1998):
The Act gives provisions on pre-primary education, on basic education and on morning and afternoon activities, for example.

Teaching Qualifications Decree (986/1998):
The Decree provides on the required qualifications of teaching staff, such as staff who provide pre-primary education for 6-years-old children.

Statutes on fees, financial aid and services

Act on Client Fees in Early Childhood Education and Care (1503/2016):
The Act contains provisions on how the client fees charged for early childhood education and care are determined, the monthly fee and income thresholds, as well as the maximum fee charged by local authorities. The Act includes provisions on the income that the fee is based on as well as the conditions for not charging a fee or charging a lower fee.

Child Home Care and Private Day Care Allowance Act (1128/1996):
The Act provides on the right of parents with children under school age to receive financial aid in place of early childhood education and care, so they can organise care for their child in ways other than those provided in municipal early childhood education and care. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for the central government level tasks related to home care allowances and private daycare allowances. (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health)  

Act on Service Vouchers in Social Welfare and Health Care Services (569/2009):
A user of early childhood education and care services may be provided with a service voucher in accordance with the Act on Service Vouchers in Social Welfare and Health Care Services (569/2009). (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health)

Statutes related to the financing of early childhood education and care

Act on Central Government Transfers to Local Government for Basic Public Services (1704/2009):
The Act applies to central government transfers granted for operating costs for the tasks and duties of local government laid down in the Basic Education Act and in the Early Childhood Education and Care Act, for instance.  (Ministry of Finance)

The Act on the Financing of Educational and Cultural Provision (1705/2009) and Decree on the Financing of the Educational and Cultural Provision (1766/2009):
The Act and the Decree lay down provisions for instance on central government transfers and grants for activities as referred to in the Basic Education Act.

Act on Discretionary Government Transfers (688/2001):
The Act lays down provisions on the criteria and procedures that apply when granting discretionary government transfers and grants for activities or projects. (Ministry of Finance)

Other legislation

Act on Checking the Criminal Background of Persons Working with Children (504/2002):
The Act requires that persons working with children show their employer an extract of their criminal records for the purposes of their employment. (Ministry of Justice)

Child Welfare Act (417/2007):
The Act contains provisions on child-specific and family-specific child welfare as well as preventative child welfare. The Act comprises provisions for developing services to support growth and education. It includes provisions on the statutory duty of social welfare and healthcare personnel, teaching staff and certain other authorities to file child welfare notifications and to report offences. (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health)

 

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