Culture for children

Arts and cultural education fosters creativity, open-mindedness and optimism, which are essential for social progress. It also strengthens children's and young people's ability to see the world from the perspective of others.

Culture for children means education in arts, culture and cultural heritage for children and young people, provision of arts and cultural heritage, and art and culture produced by children and young people themselves. Culture for children entails both the experience of art and culture and the learning of related knowledge and skills. Culture for children relates to activities for children under 18 years old.

The Ministry of Education and Culture promotes culture for children. The Ministry implements both the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the right of children to have access to art and culture under the Constitution of Finland. Art and culture are integral to an all-round education and important for the personal development of children and young people. Regardless of where they live, children and young people should have opportunities to participate in art and culture. The services provided by children's cultural centres also need to cover the whole country.

The criteria for the Ministry to support children's cultural activities include high quality of art and culture content, child and youth orientation, professional implementation, promotion of children's and young people's creativity, accessibility, and respect for cultural diversity. The Ministry's objective is to make art and culture part of the lives of every child and young person through the work of children's cultural centres, providers of basic education in the arts, and art institutions, museums, theatres, orchestras, libraries, heritage associations and others involved in the field of art and culture.

The Ministry supports children's cultural centres, nationally important art and culture events for children, projects promoting culture for children, the Association of Finnish Children's Cultural Centres and the Observatory for Arts and Cultural Education, Finland.

General grants for supporting culture for children

General grants are discretionary government grants for increasing equal access to arts and culture for children, strengthening the regional collaboration between operators in the field of art and culture, promoting the work of children's cultural centres with schools, playgrounds and early education and care centres, and supporting the organisation of nationally significant cultural events for children across Finland. The grants are intended for the children's cultural centres operating in Finland, coordination of the children's cultural centre network, activities of the Finnish Observatory for Arts and Cultural Education, and organisers of children's arts and cultural events.

More information and grants awarded (in Finnish)  

Special grants for creating innovative cultural projects for children

These discretionary government grants are intended for innovative projects which strengthen good practices and create new ways of engaging children and young people in arts and culture. Arts and culture professionals must be in charge of project planning and implementation.

More information and grants awarded (in Finnish)

Child’s Day Award

Child’s Day Award is an annual prize which the Minister of Culture awards to a community for a significant effort or achievement in promoting leisure activities and education in the arts. The Ministry gives the Award on World Children's Day which is celebrated each year on 20 November. Since 1999, nearly 50 communities from across the arts sector have received the Award.

List of the Child's Day Award recipients (in Finnish)

The Finnish model for leisure activities

The Finnish model for leisure activities aims to provide every child and young person with an opportunity to engage at school in a leisure activity that they enjoy and one that is free of charge. The providers choose the leisure activities based on the wishes of children and young people.

More information about the Finnish model for leisure activities

The Finnish model for leisure activities website 


Contact information

Iina Berden, Ministerial Adviser 
Ministry of Education and Culture, Kulttuuri- ja taidepolitiikan osasto (KUPO), Taiteen ja kulttuuriperinnön vastuualue (TAKU) Telephone:0295330069   Email Address: