Applying for Early childhood education

Applying for municipal day care

An application for municipal day care must be submitted no later than four months before the care is hoped to begin. If the starting time of the need for day care cannot be anticipated and the need arises due to employment, studying or education, a day care place must be applied for as soon as possible, but no later than two weeks before the need for care begins.

The municipal day care application is used to apply for municipal day care centres, family day care, group family day care as well as clubs and temporary day care. The goal is to provide day care in the form that the parents or other guardians of the child prefer, if possible.

Application forms for municipal day care are available
- printable day care application form : Forms
- from all the municipal day care centres, the regional day care service centres and citizen’s offices
- a municipal day care place can also be applied for online in Finnish Varhaiskasvatus ja esiopetus

The application may also be delivered to any of the above-mentioned places.
Day care places may be applied for year-round.

A day care application may be cancelled or edited by notifying the day care place that was indicated as the primary choice on the application.

The applicant receives a written decision about the day care place.

If the family rejects the granted care place, the above-mentioned four-month processing period is observed when arranging for a new care place.

There is no need to apply for open day care centres or the activities of residents’ parks.

Applying for outsourced day care

Outsourced day care centres are applied for either by contacting the day care centre directly or using the municipal day care application, depending on the day care centre in question. For details on the application procedure, see the information concerning the day care centre in question.

Applying for private day care

Private day care is applied for by contacting the care place directly. Many private day care centres have their own application form and a so-called registration fee for placing applicants in a queue. Private day care centres admit their children themselves.

Applying for day care in the joint usage areas of the Metropolitan Area

Families living in certain border districts in Espoo, Helsinki, Kauniainen and Vantaa may apply for a day care place for their child also in another municipality. Municipalities have defined the so-called joint usage areas of day care, where residing families are eligible for a day care place in the joint usage area across the municipal border. More information about the joint usage areas is available from

Families not residing in a joint usage area apply for a day care place in their municipality of residence. However, if the family moves to another municipality in the metropolitan area (Helsinki, Kauniainen, Vantaa), the child may stay in the day care place in his/her former municipality of residence until the child begins school, if the family so wishes.

Cancelling a day care application

A day care application may be cancelled by notifying the day care place that was indicated as the primary choice on the application.