Each child has the right to pre-school education free of charge one year prior to commencement of their basic education. In Helsinki, pre-school education is provided by day-care centres and a few schools. All pre-school groups follow the same curriculum. Pre-school education supports children’s learning to learn, life management and teamwork skills. The objective is for children to experience joy through learning and doing. Operating periods and holidays are the same as at comprehensive school. Children of pre-school age are still entitled to day care.
In Helsinki, there are ten preparatory classes operating in conjunction with schools. These classes are intended for those pupils whose start at school has been postponed by one year. Education in preparatory classes follows the City of Helsinki pre-school curriculum.
Co-operation between pre-school and initial education
Schools and day-care centres work in co-operation in Helsinki. Children’s growth and learning are supported through similar objectives in pre-school education and at school. Effective co-operation creates good conditions for children to safely transfer from pre-school education to school. Each child is provided with a pre-school plan, which is later submitted to their school with the parents’ permission. This will guarantee a good start to the child’s schooling.