Pre-school begins one year before the child starts real school. Pre-school consist of four daily lessons during school hours.
In Helsinki, free pre-school education is provided by daycare centres and some schools.
All pre-school groups share the same curriculum.
Pre-school education became compulsory at the beginning of 2015. This means that a child must participate in pre-school education, or other pre-school training that meets similar objectives for one year, one year prior to enrolling in actual school. A pre-school child is still entitled to daycare.
The Department of Early Education and Care is in charge of Finnish language pre-school education, and the Education Department of the Swedish language equivalent.