Pre-primary education is compulsory from August 2015
Participation in pre-primary education or corresponding activities will be mandatory from August 2015. A majority (98 %) of 6 year-old children already attend pre-primary education.
Compulsory basic education begins at the age of 7 and pre-primary education is one year earlier. In pre-primary education the emphasis is on preparation for school. Learning through play is essential.
It is up to local authorities to decide if pre-primary education takes place in a school or in a day-care center, in family day care or other appropriate place. The minimum scope of pre-primary education is 700 hours per year and is most often provided four hours per day. The education is free of charge. Pre-primary pupils also get a free meal every day. Pupils who live over five kilometers from the place where pre-primary education is arranged or the route is otherwise dangerous are entitled to free transportation.
Pre-primary education is based on a local curriculum drawn up within the framework of the National Core Curriculum for Pre-primary Education (2010). Early childhood education, pre-primary and basic education form an integrated whole progressing consistently following the child’s development.
(Source: Finnish National Board of Education website)