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Private early childhood education

You can also choose private early childhood education for your child. 

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Photo: Jussi Hellsten

Private daycare centres 

You can apply to a private daycare centre by contacting a private daycare centre of your choice directly.  

The private daycare centre decides on the admission and determines the care fee. The service provider makes a written care agreement with the guardian. In the agreement, the guardian and the provider agree on matters such as the care fee, care hours, holiday periods, holiday period payments and the notice period for cancelling a place in early childhood education. 

You can apply for private daycare allowance from Kela. 

See private daycare centres on the Service Map  (opens in new tab)

Private daycare centres provide early childhood education in many different languages, such as English, Spanish, French, Swedish, German, Russian and Estonian. Read more about the different options on the Early childhood education in different languages page. 

The Education Division operates in cooperation with the private service providers of early childhood education and guides, advises and monitors the operations of private daycare centres.  

Guidance and monitoring of private early childhood education: 

District Manager Riikka Reunanen, tel. 040 827 6926, .

District Manager Jenni Tirronen is in charge of private Swedish-language early childhood education, tel. 050 362 4285, .

  1. Prepare your complaint using the form Complaint about the operations of early education, PDF (opens in a new tab). You can also make an complaint as a free-form letter.
  2. You should describe in as much detail as possible what you are dissatisfied with. There is no time limit for making an complaint, but you should do it as soon as possible in order to facilitate the handling of matters.
  3. You should primarily submit the complaint to the person in charge of the daycare centre in question, i.e. the manager of the private daycare centre or unit.
  4. In general, complaints are processed within one month, except during holiday periods, in which case the response time may be longer. If investigating the matter requires a longer period of time, you will be informed of the estimated processing time.

The response to the complaint will explain how the matter has been investigated, specifying the reasons and detailing any further measures taken on the basis of the complaint. The response to the complaint cannot be appealed.


Private family daycare  

Private family daycare is a form of early childhood education that takes place in the family daycare provider’s own home. A family daycare provider can care for a maximum of four under school-aged children full-time, and one pre-primary education aged or school aged child part-time (25 hrs/week). Family daycare providers are independent professionals who make the admission decisions of children by themselves. The guardian and the family daycare provider always make a written care agreement. The private family daycare provider  determines the care fee.  

Further information about private family daycare providers

Service Organiser Auli Stenberg 
Tel. 09 310 26396 
P.O. Box 51300, 00099 City of Helsinki

Private daycare allowance and Helsinki supplement

If you choose private early childhood education, you can receive private daycare allowance for it from Kela, The Social Insurance Institution of Finland. The earliest the allowance can be paid is from the beginning of the month the child turns 9 months.

The private daycare allowance consists of the statutory childcare allowance, earnings-related care supplement and the Helsinki supplement. 

Private daycare allowance and supplements as of 1 August 2022
Private daycare allowance  Care allowance  Care supplement*  The Helsinki supplement** Benefits in total 
Daycare centre care, 
child under the age of 3 
184.61 0–155.24 630 814.61–1029.85
Daycare centre care, 
child over the age of 3 
184.61 0–155.24 370 554.61–769.85
Family daycare, 
child under the age of 3 
184.61 0–155.24 320 504,61-719,85
Family daycare, 
child over the age of 3 
184.61 0–155.24 160 344,61-559,85
Contractually employed care provider, 
child under the age of 3 
184.61 0–155.24 500 684.61–899.85
Contractually employed care provider, child over the age of 3   184.61 0–155.24 160 344.61–559.85
Early childhood education that supplements pre-primary education, 67.92 0–77.62 50 117.92–255.54

* The care supplement is determined according to the income of the family.  

If the family is granted a care supplement, the family is paid an additional Helsinki supplement of EUR 60.

** The Helsinki supplement is paid for full-time early childhood education, i.e. when the time allocated for early childhood education is, pursuant to the care agreement, over 25 hours a week.   

Kela, The Social Insurance Institution of Finland, will issue a decision to customers on the amount of private care allowance and Helsinki supplement starting on 1 August separately after 24 July.


Separate compensations in addition to private care allowance to be paid on the basis of an application
(as of 1 August 2022)
5-year-old compensation  160
Sibling compensation 150
Pre-primary education compensation 520

Applying for private daycare allowance 

Apply for private daycare allowance and Helsinki supplement  via Kela (opens in a new tab)


Kela pays the private daycare allowance directly to the private daycare centre, the private family daycare provider or the contractually employed care provider  working in the family’s home. 


No private daycare allowance will be paid if your child has a place in municipal early childhood education or a club. 


Information for service providers

The City of Helsinki controls and monitors private early childhood education and instructs service providers on establishing a unit for private early childhood education.  

Read more in Finnish: Instructions for private service providers on establishing a unit for early childhood education (PDF in Finnish, opens in a new tab)

A private service provider must draft a self-monitoring plan in order to ensure the appropriateness of the early childhood education operations. The self-monitoring plan is the primary monitoring method for the quality and content of the services. Valvira National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health provides more detailed provisions for the content, drafting and monitoring of the self-monitoring plan. 

General advice and instruction related to business operations is provided by NewCo Helsinki (opens in a new tab)

Providers of private early childhood education may apply for financial support from the City of Helsinki for starting new operations or expanding current operations.  

The budget of the City of Helsinki includes an annual appropriation for the start-up costs of private daycare units or group family daycare units with two care providers.  


You must apply for the start-up support within three (3) months after the new daycare centre or group family daycare home has been approved by the municipality for opening (district manager’s decision on whether the requirements set for early childhood education in accordance with Section 44 of the Act on Early Childhood Education are met).  

The applications are processed in order of filing date, provided that the application, including appendices, needed for solving the matter is available and the start-up support is payable from the allocation earmarked in the year’s budget. 

The start-up support can be applied for to cover expenses caused by obtaining or renovating premises and the purchasing costs of movable property related to them. The care providers must acquire the premises themselves. 

Support is not granted for operating costs. 



The maximum amount of the start-up support is €1,000 per full-time daycare placement set up for a child residing in Helsinki. The requirement for granting the full amount of the support is that the operations are new and will commence within a year. The operations must continue for at least three years from the payment of the support. 

Providers expanding current premises may receive €500 per each new full-time place in daycare. In these cases, too, the operations must commence within a year and continue for at least three years. 

An account of the realisation of the planned use of the support must be delivered within 12 months after the support has been paid. 

The annual maximum amount of start-up support per one service provider is €30,000 or €15,000. At maximum, a service provider can be granted one start-up support per year and the start-up support can be granted a maximum of three times. 

Support decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. The support can be recovered in full or in part if the terms and conditions set for the operations are not met. 


Special Planner Piia Nevala, tel.+358 (0)40 718 2858. 

Granting principles for start-up support - PDF in Finnish, opens in a new tab

Start-up support application - PDF in Finnish, opens in a new tab

Applications for the start-up support are submitted to the following address: 

City of Helsinki Registrar's Office
PO Box 10 
Pohjoisesplanadi 11-13 
00099 City of Helsinki


Since August 2018, municipal early childhood education services have provided free early childhood education for 5-year-old children for four hours a day and 20 hours a week. The Education Committee has also decided to pay private early childhood education providers compensation for 5-year-old children. 

In the case of 5-year old-children, the sum payable to a private service provider enables a reduced care fee and continued childcare in private daycare, and it is also possible to continue in pre-primary education the following year. 

Amount of compensation and applying for compensation 

The compensation is €160 per month and it is paid for the active period of pre-primary education. The private service provider must fill out an application form (excel file, opens in a new tab) for the payment of the compensation.The first compensation application must be submitted with an attachment (PDF in Finnish, opens in a new tab), including signatures from the child’s guardiansand the service provider. 


In the application for compensation, the private service provider undertakes to allocate the compensation for reducing the early childhood education fee of 5-year-old children. 

Payment of the compensation 

The compensation application must be sent on the 20th day of the current month at the earliest, and the compensation will be paid by the 15th day of the following month. Therefore, the first applications must be submitted on 20 August at the earliest. 

The applications must be sent to the following address 

Education Division
Early Childhood and Pre-primary Education
Private early childhood education guidance and monitoring Director
P.O. Box 51300, 00099 City of Helsinki 


The Education Committee has decided that sibling compensation can be paid to a private service provider as of August 2022, starting with the family’s second child when the family has more than one child in private or municipal early childhood education.

Amount of compensation and applying for compensation

The maximum compensation is EUR 150 per month. The compensation may not exceed the deductible of the child’s client fee. 

The private service provider must fill out an application form for compensation. The first application for compensation must be submitted with an attachment signed by the child’s guardian. The application must arrive within three (3) months of the end of the month to which it relates. 

The service provider eligible for compensation is determined based on the private early childhood education unit or units in which the children of the same family are and whether some are in municipal early childhood education. 

For further information and the application forms, please contact Special Planner Johanna Auer, , tel. 09 310 56404.


In the application for compensation, the service provider undertakes to reduce the child’s client fee by the amount of the compensation. 


  • Starting operations for a private early childhood education unit: Service Organiser Katja Almusa, , tel. +358 (0)9 310 41138. 
  • Becoming a private family daycare provider: Service Organiser Auli Stenberg, , tel. +358 (0)9 310 26396. 
  • Private Swedish-language early childhood education and opening a unit: District Manager for early childhood education Jenni Tirronen, , tel. +358 (0)9 310 73014. 

Information about support for private care is available on the Kela website:  For private daycare providers (page in Finnish, opens in a new tab)  and Kela's forms, opens in a new tab .