Development of pre-primary education

Pre-primary education is actively developed in Helsinki, taking into account the continuity of the child's learning path from early childhood education onwards. Pedagogical activities are developed taking into account the objectives of the pre-school curriculum, as well as children's learning and support for staff competence. The development of pre-primary education is linked to Helsinki's strategic development priorities and the plans guiding the activities of pre-primary education. As a result of the development work, new approaches, pedagogical models, learning environments, tools and other solutions are created to better serve the well-being of children in pre-primary education and on their learning path.
Photo: Konsta Linkola

Helsinki develops support for learning and inclusive education and care as part of the national Right to Learn programme(Link leads to external service). The development activities concern early childhood, pre-primary and basic education. The focus of developing pre-primary education in Helsinki is to strengthen inclusive activities and to promote cooperation and the transition between early childhood, pre-primary and primary education. The involvement of children is at the heart of inclusion. 

Helsinki takes part in the national trial for two-year pre-primary education in 2021-2024.

The trial for two-year pre-primary education involves 44 Finnish-language daycare centres and two Swedish-language daycare centres chosen for the trial. In August 2021, approximately a thousand children born in 2016 were included in the trial, and in August 2022 children born in 2017 joined the trial.

Children selected by the Ministry of Education and Culture for the trial group can participate in the trial. Children in early childhood education at the trial daycare centre and children living in the area of the trial daycare centre can apply for the experiment. Families that are involved in the trial have been informed about applying. You cannot apply for a two-year pre-primary education trial on the City of Helsinki E-services or the Asti online service.

In two-year pre-primary education, children learn through play, exercise, art and exploration. Pedagogy takes the needs of small children participating in the two-year trial into account.

The aim of the trial is to gain insight on the effects of two-year pre-primary education on children’s learning and development, social skills and self-esteem. In addition to that, the trial will develop the quality and impact of pre-primary education and map out the continua between early childhood education, pre-primary education and primary education in comprehensive school.

The trial is guided by the Act on two-year pre-primary education trial and the activities are based on Helsinki’s local curriculum for two-year pre-primary education trial (PDF in Finnish)

A national follow-up study will be conducted simultaneously with the trial. Children who participate in the two-year trial also take part in the follow-up study. In addition, control daycare centres have been selected by random sampling, and children in these daycare centres will also participate in the study.

Trial daycare centres in Helsinki

Finnish-language daycare centres:
Daycare Tahvonlahti, Daycare Leskenlehti, Daycare Immola, Daycare Valkea, Daycare Tilhi, Daycare Kivilinna, Daycare Korento, Daycare Vallesmanni, Daycare Norppa, Daycare Torpparintupa, Daycare Karavaani, Daycare Satama, Daycare Kurkimoisio, Daycare Merituuli, Daycare Ilomäki, Daycare Kamomilla, Daycare Käpylinna, Daycare Porolahti, Daycare Kulosaari, Daycare Floora, Daycare Merirasti, Daycare Meri, Daycare Kivelä, Daycare Nestori, Daycare Pihlaja, Daycare Siilitie, Daycare Havukka, Daycare Pentinkulma, Daycare Herttoniemi, Daycare Tuorinniemi, Daycare Vaskiniitty, Daycare Kurki, Daycare Viskuri, Daycare Neulanen, Daycare Liinakko, Daycare Impivaara, Daycare Satakieli, Daycare Perttu, Daycare Katiska, Daycare Toivo, Daycare Tammi, Daycare Ruskeasuo, Daycare Keula, Daycare Torpparinmäki,

Swedish-language daycare centres:
Daycare Domus, Daycare Domus förskola, Daycare Rastis, Daycare Rastis förskola

Daycare centres participating in the follow-up study in Helsinki

Finnish-language daycare centres:
Daycare Aapiskukko, Daycare Alppikylä, Daycare Arabia, Daycare Asteri, Daycare Auringonkukka, Daycare Auringonpilkku, Daycare Herttua, Daycare Himmeli, Daycare Jaala, Daycare Jousi, Daycare Jäkälä, Daycare Jätkäsaari, Daycare Kalasatama, Daycare Kamppi, Daycare Kanava, Daycare Kankarepuisto, Daycare Kaskisavu, Daycare Kissankello, Daycare Koralli, Daycare Kotikallio, Daycare Kylätie, Daycare Kytöniitty, Daycare Lammikko, Daycare Lasten Kartano, Daycare Lauttasaari, Daycare Lehdokki, Daycare Lehtisaari, Daycare Leppäsuo, Daycare Louhikko, Daycare Luotsi, Daycare Maarianmaa, Daycare Marmori, Daycare Maunula, Daycare Mestari, Daycare Minttu, Daycare Myllynratas, Daycare Myllytonttu, Daycare Pacius, Daycare Pajalahti, Daycare Pakila, Daycare Pehtoori, Daycare Pihlajamäki, Daycare Pikku-Veräjä, Daycare Purje, Daycare Raitti, Daycare Roihuvuori,Daycare Ruoholahden Lastentalo, Daycare Ruuti, Daycare Rööperi, Daycare Saana, Daycare Sakara, Daycare Sakarinmäki, Daycare Saniainen,Daycare Santahamina, Daycare Satulinna, Daycare Savela, Daycare Seulanen, Daycare Sinivuori, Daycare Tammisalo, Daycare Tapanila, Daycare Tuuli, Daycare Vaapukka, Daycare Viikinki, Daycare Vikkeri, Daycare Virkkula, Daycare Yliskylä, Daycare Ylä-Malmi

Swedish-language daycare centres:
Daycare Fenix, Daycare Pilten, Daycare Sesam, Daycare Sockenstugan, Daycare Sockenstugans Förskola

The follow-up study for two-year pre-primary education continues in Grade 1 of basic education. In addition, a random sample of comparison daycare centres where the children are also participating in the study has been selected. 

Read more:

Finnish National Agency for Education | Pre-primary education, page in Finnish(Link leads to external service)

Finnish National Agency for Education | Municipalities and comparison municipalities participating in the two-year pre-primary education trial, page in Finnish(Link leads to external service)

The aim is to change the operating culture of pre-primary and basic education, to strengthen inclusion, learning and well-being, equality, non-discrimination, interaction and the local school principle and to provide the necessary and sufficient early support for arranging the pupil’s teaching.   

The key goals include the development of a comprehensive learning environment to support the operations. The project develops pedagogical operating procedures and a permanent operating culture to promote, for example, children’s active agency as digital content producers.