It is important to offer children arriving in Finland an opportunity to attend early childhood education and care and pre-primary education without delay. Daily life in early childhood education and care and pre-primary education with its routines and interactive relationships strengthens children's experience of security. This page contains information about how early childhood education and care and pre-primary education can support children who have fled Ukraine.
Kaksivuotisen esiopetuksen kokeilu

Children from Ukraine are making their way to different parts of Finland, and refugee numbers are likely to increase further. Some Ukrainians will continue their journey from Finland to some other European country, others will move from one place of residence to another within Finland's borders, and yet others have found a more permanent place of residence straight after arriving. Most of the refugees will certainly want to return to their homeland as quickly as possible, but no one knows when this could happen.

Those who have fled Ukraine can apply for temporary protection. For more information on the principles governing Ukrainians’ entry into Finland, see the websites of the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish Immigration Service.

Early childhood education and care and pre-primary education have a significant impact on the child's learning capacity, linguistic skills and building a feeling of safety in their daily life. In early childhood education and care and pre-primary education, an effort is made to create an atmosphere of security, inclusion, appreciation and caring for the child.

The new provisions on support in early childhood education and care added to the Act on Early Childhood Education and Care entered into force on 1 August 2022. Under this Act, children have the right to receive support that addresses their needs for their development, learning and well-being. Timely, individually targeted and needs-based support promotes the child's development, learning and well-being. It also prevents the child's problems from growing and taking on more diverse forms as well as the risk of social exclusion. ECEC providers must engage in multidisciplinary cooperation with social welfare and health care. The practices of this cooperation are agreed upon locally. In ECEC, multidisciplinary cooperation with such actors as the child health clinic promotes the child's holistic well-being.

Children of pre-primary education age who have fled Ukraine have a right to pre-primary education, adequate support for their growth and learning as soon as the need for support arises, and pre-primary level pupil welfare services referred to in the Basic Education Act on the same grounds as other children attending pre-primary education. Responsibility for the welfare of the pre-primary education community rests first and foremost with the pre-primary education staff. The psychologist's and school social worker’s services included in pupil welfare services provide each pupil with personalised support according to their needs.

Given the uncertainty and unpredictability caused by the war, flexibility must be the aim in the provision of ECEC and pre-primary education. The key principles of ECEC and pre-primary education in terms of promoting the well-being of children fleeing Russia’s attack are their right to their own language, culture and worldview, as well as to a secure environment and safe adults.

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