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Preschool education obligation

Starting 1 August 2015, a child must attend a year-long preschool education or other activities matching the objectives of preschool education the year before his/her compulsory education begins.

Preschool education according to the Basic Education Act

Official, free-of-charge preschool education according to the Basic Education Act is provided by daycare centres and schools decided by the municipality. In addition, there are a few education providers that have been granted permission from the state to organise preschool education. Applying for preschool education takes place in a manner and schedule decided by the municipality. Preschool education is free-of-charge. The municipality is obligated to offer a child a preschool education place

Objectives of preschool education

Preschool education is curriculum-based education supporting children’s growth, development and learning potential in a peer group. Operations are planned in a child-oriented manner and their task is to strengthen the child’s positive self-image and conception of him-/herself as a learner. In preschool education, children have opportunities to involve themselves in diverse interaction and strengthen their social skills.

Other activities meeting the objectives of preschool education

A child’s guardian must ensure that the child attends preschool education or other activities meeting the objectives of preschool education.

If the guardians fail to apply for a place for the child in the official preschool education places decided by the municipality, the guardians must arrange activities ensuring the meeting of the objectives of preschool education for the child in some other manner.

Activities that meet the objectives defined in the National Core Curriculum for Preschool Education constitute activities meeting the objectives of preschool education. Daycare does not constitute activities meeting the objectives of preschool education.

Preschool education objectives are detailed in the Finnish National Board of Education’s National Core Curriculum for Preschool Education:
National Core Curriculum for Preschool Education 2010 (pdf, in Finnish)

Preschool education is not part of compulsory education and the municipality has no supervision obligation even if a child does not attend preschool education arranged according to the Basic Education Act.

More from the subject
You can read more about the legislation regarding the preschool education obligation with justifications at the Finlex website:
Government Proposal to Parliament for an Act Amending Sections 26a and 35 of the Basic Education Act (in Finnish)

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14.09.2018 11:40