Role of Regional State Administrative Agencies in early education
The responsibilities of Regional State Administrative Agencies in early education are
- guidance and advice
- enforcement and reporting violations
- continuous training and professional development of personnel
- project grants
- international cooperation
- issuing statements
- performance evaluation of health and social services
- registering an early education centre (opening, changes, new responsible person and closing).
The well-being at work of early education professionals is overseen by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
Frequently asked questions
Early education refers to a systematic and target-oriented system for raising, teaching and caring for children with emphasis on pedagogy.
Early education services are provided in nurseries, home daycares and open early education.
In addition to pre-school, children are also entitled to complementary early education.
Early education is governed by Act on Early Childhood Education and Care and the curriculum of early education is governed by The curriculum for early childhood education and care.
Local authorities must provide early education services in the extent and formats suitable for the area’s needs.
A local authority or a joint authority may provide early education services by itself or buy services from another service provider. The services can be purchased with a service voucher.
Private service providers must register their early education centre.
Private early education refers to commercial early education services provided for a fee. The service provider can be a company founded by an individual, organisation, foundation or a public entity.
Private service providers must register as an early education service provider in writing before they can start operating or before any significant changes are made. The registration must be submitted to the body or official designated by the local authority.
Nurseries employ teachers in early childhood education and care, social pedagogues in early childhood education and care, childcarers in early childhood education and care, special education teachers in early childhood education and care and the head of early education centre.
There are also personnel with no job titles or qualifications governed by legislation who work in nurseries, such as assistants and kitchen staff members. Family daycare childminder is also a legally defined ob title.
Individual early childhood education and care plan is tool for recording the targets and measures supporting a child’s development, learning and well-being. The child’s need for support, the support measures and their implementation are also included in the plan.
The organiser and provider of early education services must assess the quality of the early education services provided and participate in the assessments conducted by third parties.
The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) conducts national external evaluations of early education services. FINEEC also provides guidance on statutory self-assessments to public and private early education service providers.
A parent or guardian dissatisfied with the quality of early education or the treatment of their child are entitled to submit an objection. The objection is submitted to the acting head of the early education centre, the person responsible for the centre or the executive early education official.
Nurseries, home daycares and open early education centres must shall foster development and learning and be healthy and safe having regard to the children’s age, development and other abilities.
Early education service providers must draw up a safety plan as well as fire safety and evacuation plans.
More information on safety on the websites of Regional State Administrative Agencies and the Finnish National Agency for Education.
The client fees charged for early education services provided by public nurseries and home daycares are governed by the Act on Client Charges in Healthcare and Social Welfare.
The amount of the fee depends on family size, income and whether the child is in full- or part-time early education.
Purchased early education services are charged the same way as services provided by local authorities.
Local authorities do not charge a fee for early education services bought with a service voucher. The local authority determines the value of the service voucher based on the Act on Service Vouchers for Social Welfare and Health Care and the fee is charged by the private nursery.
If you have questions about the client fees of your child’s early education services, contact your local early education services or officer for social affairs.
The Regional State Administrative Agency organises brief courses of in-service training for early childhood education and care staff.
The content of our in-service training has to do with current issues in early childhood education and care. The training offering is based on national and regional needs, and the topics are different each year.
The training we organise is free of charge. Training courses are held the year round, and we announce them on the Regional State Administrative Agency website.
Grants for the training of early education professionals and different development projects are applied for directly through the websites of the Finnish National Agency for Education and the Ministry of Education and Culture during the application periods, which can also be found on the websites.