- Public service
Preschool education is provided for children in the year preceding their compulsory education. The preschool day is 4 hours during the regular school year.
In Helsinki pre school education is provided free of charge in public daycare centres and in some schools.
All preschool groups follow the same curriculum.
Pre-primary education is binding. This means that the child must participate in a year-long activity of preschool education or other forms of compulsory targets for preschool education the year preceding their compulsory education. Children of preschool age are still entitled to daycare.
In Helsinki the Department of Early Education and Care is responsible for the preschool education provided in Finnish and the Education Department is responsible for the preschool education provided in Swedish.
To whom and on what terms
The service is free of charge.
Children in the pre-primary education age, or 6 years, participate in pre-primary education organised by the municipality. Those 7-year-olds whose school attendance has been postponed also participate in pre-primary education. It can additionally be attended by 5-year-olds to whom a decision on extended compulsory education has been issued.
The children receive pre-primary education for four hours every morning. During this time, a lunch is served to the children.
Under the Basic Education Act, participation in pre-primary education is mandatory. A child’s guardian is responsible for ensuring that the child participates in pre-primary education or activities that meet its objectives during the school year that precedes the start of compulsory education.