Espoo has residents’ parks, open day care centres and clubs that organise activities for children and their parents without advance registration. Club activities are available for 3–5-year-old children who are in home care. There are also private playground attendants in Espoo.
Who are the open early childhood education services for?
Open early childhood education services provide an alternative to traditional day care. Open early childhood education services are primarily for families and are usually free of charge. They give parents the chance to meet other families and allow their children to make new friends and practice important social skills together with other children and adults.
In addition, parents can receive support in issues related to the upbringing and development of their child. Children may also take part in municipal club activities or activities organised by private playground attendants or others. Children and their parents may also participate in the activities of various peer groups as well as family training groups after childbirth.
Residents’ parks are for children and young teenagers as well as their parents and child care providers. Activities are open and free of charge, and no advance registration is required. Residents’ parks offer young schoolchildren the opportunity to take part in supervised morning and afternoon activities as well as eat a chargeable snack.
Residents’ parks organise indoor and outdoor activities for children and adults in supervised and self-supervised groups. Children under school-age take part in activities together with a parent or another adult who is taking care of them. The staff, customers and other partners of residents’ parks plan the activities together. Residents’ parks may also have clubs with an attendance fee.
Open day care centres
Municipal open day care centres are for children under school-age and the parents or child care providers caring for them at home. The activities are free of charge, and no advance registration is required.
The activities involve spending interactive time together so that parents take care of their children. The activities are organised in active cooperation, based on the wishes of the parents. In addition to games and spending free time together, the activities include e.g. arts and crafts, music, sports and outings.
Open day care also offers parents support from an early childhood education professional as well as the possibility to discuss the development and upbringing of their child and the everyday life of a family with children. Open day care centres may also have clubs with an attendance fee.
Clubs offer a lighter alternative to full- or part-time day care. A child in home care has the chance to take part in supervised activities with the other children in the club.
One of the main goals of club activities is to learn social skills and gain positive experiences – both personal and with regards to working in a group. Club activities facilitate the development of self-esteem and independence and support families in their upbringing tasks. Children apply for clubs using the day care application, which is available online and in municipal day care units.
Part-time activities are organised several days a week and they are subject to a fee. Club fees vary depending on the weekly club days and times. The daily duration of a club is three hours at the most. Participation in club activities does not influence the child home care allowance issued by Kela. The club does not provide meals, but children eat their own snacks during the day.
Private playground attendants
Playgrounds are public recreational areas built for residents by the City of Espoo. Some playgrounds have private playground attendants. The activities in such playgrounds are subject to a charge, and the playground attendants personally choose the children that may participate in the activities. The city supervises the operations of playground attendants.
Activities organised by other parties
In addition to the City of Espoo services, various communities and businesses organise activities as well.