Applying to pre-primary education

On this page you will find information about applying to pre-primary education. You can either accept the pre-primary education place assigned for your child by the City, enrol you child in pre-primary education during the enrolment period or apply for another place yourself.

On this page

Helsinki is divided into admission areas for pre-primary education. If your child is enrolled in municipal early childhood education, the City will automatically assign them a pre-primary education place in their admission area. The area is determined by the child's home address. 

However, you must enrol your child to pre-primary education if the child doesn't attend municipal early childhood education before the start of their pre-primary education, the child is on a temporary break from early childhood education, the child participates in club activities or needs round-the-clock care during the pre-primary school year. The City then assigns your child a place within their admission area.

If you want to apply for private pre-primary education, please contact the private servicve provider directly.

Welcome to pre-primary education, pdf

Tervetuloa esiopetukseen -esite, pdf

Välkommen till föskolan -broschyr, pdf

Добро пожаловать на дошкольное обучение, pdf

Ku soo dhowow waxbarasho-horaadka, pdf

أهلاً وسهلاً في التعليم التمهيدي
معلومات لأولياء الأمور عن
 

The City assigns every child born in 2018 a place in municipal pre-primary education if the child attends municipal early childhood education before the start of pre-primary education or you enrol the child to pre-primary education.

If your child is in municipal early childhood education, you can accept or reject the assigned pre-primary education place in the Asti online service between 14–29 February 2024. We assign the place automatically based on the address the child has on 22 January 2024. You will receive the decisions on approved pre-primary education places by 29 March 2024. 

When assigning a place for your child in their admission area, we also take into account the child's future local school. You can check your admission area on the service map(Link leads to external service). Here you can find a list of pre-primary education providers according to admission area.

We can also assign your child a pre-primary education place in a different admission area. If the child participates in language immersion, has special needs or needs round-the-clock care, we can assign them a place outside their admission area. If necessary due to special needs, a child’s pre-primary education can also be arranged in a facility where other pre-primary education is not provided.

If your child attends Finnish-language early childhood education, we assign them a place in Finnish-language pre-primary education. Similarly, if your child attends Swedish-language early childhood education, we assign them a place in Swedish-language pre-primary education. 

Within the application period, you can also apply for a different pre-primary education place. Please note, that you cannot apply for Finnish-language pre-primary education and Swedish-language pre-primary education at the same time.

If your child participates in club activities, is in home care or you have taken a temporary break from early childhood education, you must enrol your child to pre-primary education on the Asti online service(Link leads to external service) between 8.–21.1.2024. Your child will be assigned a place at the same time as those in municipal early childhood education. We assign pre-primary education places based on the child’s current address on 22 January 2024.  As a parent or guardian, you can accept or reject the pre-primary education place in the Asti online service from 14 to 29 February 2024. You  will receive a decision on your child’s pre-primary education place by 29 March 2024.

If your child attends private early childhood education and you want a place for them in municipal pre-primary education, please enrol for pre-primary education via the Asti online service from 8 to 21 January 2024. Your child will be assigned a place at the same time as those in municipal early childhood education. As a parent or guardian, you can accept or reject a pre-primary education place in the Asti online service from 14 to 29 February 2024.

If your child’s home address is in Helsinki, but they currently attend early childhood education in another municipality, please enrol for pre-primary education using the Asti online service between 8 and 21 January 2024. Your child will be assigned a place at the same time as those already in municipal early childhood education. As a parent or guardian, you can accept or reject a pre-primary education place using the Asti online service between 14 and 29 February 2024.

If you child lives in two municipalities due to the family's living arrangements for example, the child can participate in pre-primary education in both municipalities. However, please note that the child can receive free pre-primary education in one municipality only.

If you child does not attend municipal early childhood education before pre-primary education begins, and you don't enrol them in pre-primary education during 8.1–21.1.2024, you must apply for a place in pre-primary education during 14.2–29.2.2024.

If your address changes during the application period by 29 February 2024, you can apply for a new place based on the new address. If your address changes after 29 February 2024, you can accept the place assigned to your child and apply for a pre-primary education place transfer after the new address comes into effect by submitting a pre-primary education application in the Asti online service(Link leads to external service). We will make decisions on applications received after the deadline from the beginning of May onwards.

You can also apply for private pre-primary education after the application period 8.1–21.1.2024. In that case, you must contact the service provider directly.

If your child attends a daycare centre that organises round-the-clock care and will need round-the-clock care also during pre-primary education, you must enrol your child in pre-primary education in the Asti online service(Link leads to external service). If you have not enrolled your child in pre-primary education and indicated the need for round-the-clock care, we will assign a place for your child within your own admission area. You must also verify the need for round-the-clock care to the daycare centre manager by the end of the enrolment period.

If your child has been in a language immersion programme in early childhood education, they will be assigned a pre-primary education place according to the language immersion path. This will assign them to pre-primary education with language immersion in the same daycare centre they attend for early childhood education. Parents and guardians use the Asti online service(Link leads to external service) to accept pre-primary education places with language immersion.

If you want your child to start in a language immersion in pre-primary education, you must apply for a place by filling out and submitting a paper application for pre-primary education: after the name of the chosen daycare centre, write that the child is applying for a place in the language immersion group. Return the paper application during the application time 14th- 29th of February 2024 via secure e-mail or by post to Service Guidance for Early Childhood Education, P.O. Box 51300, 00099 City of Helsinki. 

Application for pre-primary education (pdf)

Send paper application via secure e-mail(Link leads to external service)

On this page you can find more information on language immersion programmes.

You can use the paper form to apply for pre-primary education if you or your family do not have Finnish personal identity codes or online banking credentials, you and your family are unable to apply online for other reasons, or a member of your family has a non-disclosure for personal safety reasons.

A decision on the pre-primary education place will be sent to the address you give on the paer application.

Return the paper application primarily by post to the following address: Service guidance for early childhood education, Työpajankatu 8, PO Box 58300, 00099 City of Helsinki. You can also send the application via secure e-mail.

The paper application can also be used to apply for a place with a private pre-primay education provider. If you want to apply for a private place, please send the application directly to the chosen service provider.

Application to pre-primary education (pdf)

Send application via secure e-mail(Link leads to external service)

If your child needs a pre-primary education place for the current term 2023–2024, apply for a pre-primary education place in the Asti online service(Link leads to external service). Your child will be assigned a place in pre-primary education in one of the units you list in your application if they have places available. If the units you applied for do not have places available, your child will be assigned a pre-primary education place at another unit in the school admission area of the child’s home address or at the nearest unit with places available.

You will be informed of the pre-primary education place decided for your child based on your application with a pre-primary education decision.

If necessary, you can submit a paper application form by post to Varhaiskasvatuksen palveluohjaus, PL 51300, 00099 Helsingin kaupunki (Service Guidance for Early Childhood Education, PO Box 51300, 00099 City of Helsinki). 

Hakemus esiopetukseen, pdf(Link leads to external service)

Ansökan till förskoleundervisning, pdf(Link leads to external service)

Application form for pre-primary education, PDF(Link leads to external service)

In matters related to changes in the hours of early childhood education that supplements pre-primary education and starting pre-primary education, please contact the director of your child’s daycare centre directly.

The national trial for two-year pre-primary education ends after school year 2023–2024. The trial will not be continued in 2024–2025.

If your child’s home address changes within Helsinki during the pre-primary education year, your child may continue at the current unit until the child goes to school. If you want to change your child’s pre-primary education place because of moving to a new address, apply for a new place as soon as your child’s new home address is valid.

If your child’s home address changes within Helsinki after accepting a pre-primary education place, apply for a new placeon the Asti online service(Link leads to external service). You can apply for a new place when the new address becomes valid. If the new address is not automatically updated on the form, you can give the new, valid address on the application. 

Your child will be assigned a place in pre-primary education within the admission area of their new address, if there are places available. If there are no places availabe, your child will be assigned a place in another admission are closest to the child's home address.

You may also apply for a pre-primary education place for your child in the child’s future pre-primary education admission area before the new home address is valid based on secondary admission. Applications of children living in the pre-primary admission area will be processed before secondary admission applications.

If you want to apply for a new place after your child has already been admitted in pre-primary education, you may submit a new application in the  Asti online service.(Link leads to external service) 

You can list up to two preferences on the application. If you apply for a new place within the same admission area where your child’s home address already is and there are no vacancies in your preferred units, a negative decision will be made. In this case, the original pre-primary education place will be maintained.

Applications received during the on-going pre-primary education year will be processed twice a month. Due to the large number of applications, there is a separate schedule for the processing of applications received during the pre-primary education application period in the spring. 

Apply for a place in pre-primary education organised by the City of Helsinki for your child at the Asti online service(Link leads to external service). For pre-primary education in a private daycare centre, apply directly to the private daycare centre in question. If you do not yet have an address in Helsinki, you can still apply for municipal pre-primary education in the Asti online service by giving us your child’s future home address in Helsinki, even if it was not yet valid.

If the new address is valid at the time of processing, your child will be granted a place in the pre-primary education admission area based on the new address. If the new address is not yet valid at the time of processing, the application will be processed as a secondary admission application. This means that your child may be admitted if there are vacancies in your preferred locations after the applications of the children already living in the area have been processed. If there are no vacancies in your preferred locations, a negative decision will be made. 

In Helsinki, pre-primary education is also organised in private daycare centres. Private service providers offer a variety of options for pre-primary education. In private daycare centres, your child can attend foreign language pre-primary education, pre-primary education focusing on Montessori or Steiner pedagogy or worldview education. If you would like your child to be admitted to pre-primary education in a private daycare centre, please contact the director of your preferred private daycare centre. 

Pre-primary education provided by a private daycare centre is free-of-charge to the guardian (four hours a day) but the private service provider will determine the cost of early childhood education that supplements pre-primary education before and after pre-primary education. Guardians may apply for private day care allowance from Kela for supplementary early childhood education.  

Apply for a place in pre-primary education organised in a private daycare centre by submitting the City of Helsinki pre-primary education application form directly to your preferred daycare centre. 

The application period for pre-primary education in private daycare centres is between 8 and 21 January 2024. ​   

Submit the paper application form to the private daycare centre of your choice. Pre-primary education decisions will be sent to you in February–March 2024. ​  ​   

A private service provider will apply from the city permission to become a pre-primary education provider. At least 7 children are required to form a pre-primary education group. In weighted-curriculum school path (pre-primary education in a foreign language, Montessori or Steiner pedagogy or worldview education), the group may be smaller. If there is any uncertainty as to whether a sufficiently large pre-primary education group will be formed, you should also enrol the child in municipal pre-primary education in the Asti online service(Link leads to external service) or submit a paper application form to another private daycare centre within the application period. When enrolling your child, please state if you would prefer your child to be admitted to private pre-primary education.