Early childhood education and care

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) refers to the systematic and goal-oriented entity that consists of upbringing, education and care of children and places special emphasis on pedagogy. Early childhood education and care is provided as centre-based early education activities, family-based daycare activities and open early childhood education and care activities.

Local authorities are responsible for ensuring that early childhood education and care is provided in accordance with the needs of children and families. The Ministry of Education and Culture is responsible for the overall planning, guidance and monitoring of early childhood education and care.  

  • Legislation on early childhood education and care »

    Legislation governing early childhood education and care as well as pre-primary education.

  • Early childhood education and care services »

    Local authorities (municipalities) are responsible for providing early childhood education and care services. Early childhood education and care is provided at early education centres and as family daycare premises and open early childhood and care activities.

  • Children's right to ECEC »

    The right of children to ECEC is laid down in the Act on Early Childhood Education and Care. A child's parents or other guardians decide whether their child participates in early childhood education and care. However, pre-primary education that precedes compulsory education is obligatory.

  • Client fees charged for ECEC »

    The client fees are determined on the basis of the size and income of the family and the number of hours that a child participates in early childhood education and care.