Early childhood education and care
All children under school-age have a subjective right to early childhood education and care (ECEC). The municipalities are responsible for arranging the ECEC services, for their quality and supervision. Families can also opt for publicly subsidized private ECEC settings. The Finnish ECEC is based on an integrated approach to care, education, and teaching, the so-called “Educare” model. Learning through play is essential.
The main form of ECEC is daycare organized in daycare centers and in family daycare. The content of ECEC is guided by the National Curriculum Guidelines on ECEC (2018). Other forms of ECEC services include clubs run by the local parishes and other non-governmental organizations and the various forms of open early childhood education activities organized by the municipalities for children and their families. Participation in ECEC is subject to a fee which depends on family income and the number of children. Client fees in municipal daycare cover about 14 percent of the total daycare costs.
The Finnish ECE is based on social constructivism where it is considered that the knowledge is constructed together by the teacher and learner. This knowledge construction effectively takes place when it is happening in social settings like school. So together they learn better!
A child experiences and expresses the emotion without understanding it completely. The basis of the personality development of a child lies in his emotional development to a large extent according to the research. If a child learns to understand, recognize, express, and regulate his or her emotions from a younger age then the social development will be smooth and natural.
Experiential learning (Play)
Play is an essential and inseparable part of childhood. It also has numerous possibilities for physical and psychological skills development. Children learn when they play. It includes structured play and free play.
Learning life skills
Being independent is the requirement of living a successful and happy life. The small habits of getting dressed, eating, self-care lead to the independence expected in later life. These things are emphasized and encouraged in a joyful environment so that the children can learn these things easily. Earlier the better!
A necessary 21st-century skill for the work-life, be it self-employment or a role in a multinational organization. Collaborative learning happens where the learners are interdependent. They learn from each other and from the teacher.
Non-formal learning- nature interaction
It is proven by the research that outdoor learning improves the health and well-being of the children. At the same time, it also leads to better learning skills and creativity. The children learn to be more sensitive and adapt to a sustainable lifestyle. Playing outdoors and going to the forest is a regular activity in Finnish ECE centers.