Pre-primary education

Pre-schools in Finland

Pre-primary education

Pre-primary education is aimed at 6-year-old children in the year before they are due to begin their compulsory basic education. It is not compulsory in Finland but each municipality is obliged to offer the service.

Sessions usually take place in day care centres or at comprehensive schools. The education itself, as well as meals and health care are provided free of charge. In some cases travel costs are also paid for.

In addition to pre-primary education, children are also entitled to a place in day care, although there if often an income-based fee for this extra service.

Structure and Aims

Pre-primary education usually lasts for a minimum of 700 hours per year and a maximum of 4 hours per day. It is up to each institution to decide on timetables and term dates, though timings generally coincide with the regular school year.

The main aim of pre-primary education is to prepare children for compulsory primary education, incorporating teamwork exercises and activities that encourage each child to use their initiative. Children are also encouraged to develop a positive outlook on life from their time in pre-primary education.

Each individual child’s development is carefully monitored and any early signs of learning difficulties are picked up on. There are many ways to support a child’s needs that allow them to take part in the same activities as every other child.

Parents receive constant feedback from teachers regarding their child’s development. In most cases it is possible for parents or guardians to have some input towards their child’s daily plan during pre-primary education.

Further reading

Does this article help?

Do you have any comments, updates or questions on this topic? Ask them here: