Preschool education is a child's learning, inclusion, development and growth-oriented activity designed to strengthen child's self-esteem, provide positive learning experiences and opportunities for diverse interaction with other children of the same age.
Preschool education is organized by the municipal authority and is intended for all children under school age one year before basic education. Preschool education is mandatory (determined by the law Perusopetuslaki 26 a §).
The season of preschool education starts in the middle of August and lasts until the end of May and includes at least 700 lessons (4 h/day). Preschool education is free of charge. Day care services or morning and afternoon activities in addition to preschool hours are chargeable. The child’s need for day care should also be indicated during the enrolment.
In the first and second grade there are 19 - 21 weekly working
hours, depending on the school. In the first grade the curriculum
includes mother tongue and literature, mathematics, environmental and
nature studies, religion/ethics, crafts, visual arts, music and physical
education. Schools may also offer school-specific subjects which are
already taught in the first grade, such as English.
The first school years concentrate on providing a basis for further studies and acquiring basic skills and knowledge. Developing social skills and growing to work as a member of a group are emphasised. In the first and second grade the class teacher predominantly teaches most of the lessons him/herself. This allows the teacher to divide the practical instruction work into meaningful entities between the recreation breaks.