Applying for municipal early childhood education

Applying for a place in municipal early childhood education is done electronically with the application available at the Early childhood education and Pre-primary education site. If you are not able to send an electronic application, you can fill in a separate Daycare application (pdf, 60 Kt)(PDF, 580 Kb) and send it to the Early Childhood Education Service Guidance. The application forms for municipal early childhood education are also available from all municipal day-care centres and the Citizen’s Offices of the City of Espoo, as necessary. The application can also be returned to the above-mentioned places.

The electronic application for municipal early childhood education is used to apply for municipal day-care centres, family day care, group family day-care centres and clubs.

You can apply for early childhood education all year round. The early childhood education decisions are done at the Early Childhood Education Service Guidance. The applicant receives a written decision about the early childhood education place. The decision comes primarily to the Netposti service of Posti, if it is being used. If not, the decision is sent in a letter to the home address.

Application periods

The application to municipal early childhood education must be submitted at the latest four months before the desired start day.

If the start date of early childhood education cannot be predicted and the need for a place in early childhood education is due to sudden employment at a new job or a sudden offer of a new study place, the place in early childhood education must be applied for as soon as possible, but no later than two weeks before the need begins. In this case, a certificate of sudden employment or an offer of a study place must be appended to the application to be submitted to the Early Childhood Education Service Guidance. 

If the family refuses an assigned care place, the family must submit a new application. In this case, the above-mentioned four-month processing period applies in the arrangement of a new care place.

To be observed when filling in the application

The early childhood education application is filled in separately for each child. The electronic early childhood education application requires a Finnish personal identity code for the child. The application is for the early childhood education of the City of Espoo. The family can express its wishes regarding the care form, care premises and care hours in the application. The child’s weekly need for care is indicated in the application.

The goal of early childhood education is to promote the child’s balanced growth, development and learning. If your child requires support due to his/her physical, mental or social development, indicate it in the application.

Applying for evening or round-the-clock care

When applying for evening or round-the-clock care (round-the-clock and weekend care), certificates of evening or shift work or evening studies of both parents must be appended to the application. The certificates are submitted to the Early Childhood Education Service Guidance.

Exchanging care places

When a child already has a care in Espoo’s municipal early childhood education and another care place is applied for the child, a new early childhood education application must be filled in for the child. The new application serves as a transfer application. The transfer application is valid for one year from its date of submittal. The transfer application does not have a processing time. The transfer decisions are done when enabled by the applicant and care place situation.

Families moving to Espoo

When moving from another municipality to Espoo, the application period to early childhood education is 4 months. The application can be submitted already before moving to Espoo.

When moving within the metropolitan area (Helsinki, Vantaa, Kauniainen) from one municipality to another, the child can continue in the old municipal care place, until he/she begins pre-primary education or Espoo has assigned a new care place based on the application within the application period. This right does not apply to evening and round-the-clock care or outsourced early childhood education.

Applying for early childhood education across municipal borders in Espoo, Helsinki, Kauniainen and Vantaa

Families can apply for an early childhood education place for their child across municipal borders in Espoo, Helsinki, Kauniainen and Vantaa. In this case, the early childhood education application must be submitted also to the child’s municipality of residence. Round-the-clock care and outsourced service can only be applied for in the child’s municipality of residence. 

Further information is available at the HelsinkiRegion.fi website.

Cancelling and modifying an early childhood education application

The family can cancel an application by a written notification or e-mail to the Early Childhood Education Service Guidance. Modifications to an application can be done by contacting the Early Childhood Education Service Guidance.

Decision-making policies

The Finnish Early Education and Education Committee decided (17 February 2011) the policies applied to placing children in statutory Finnish day care. The child is assigned a care place according to the placement policies:

  • The day-care place is assigned within realms of possibility according to the guardians’ wishes.
  • When there are more applicants to some day-care place than there are available places, the placement of the children observes the following principles:
    • need for day care: only children, whose need for day care falls upon some other time than between 6:30 am and 6:00 pm due to the guardian’s work or studies, will be placed in the evening and round-the-clock care groups
    • child-specific special reasons: the child’s placement is based on a statement provided by the Child Welfare Services, family worker, child health clinic, speech therapist, doctor or some other expert or support need assessed by early childhood education
    • sibling relationships: the goal is to place siblings in the same day-care place, if the family does not express other wishes
    • means of communication: the guardians possibilities for bringing the child to day care is determined in the placement process (public transport or own car, transport directions)
  • When making children’s day-care place decisions, the starting point is also to form functional child groups and ensure the appropriate use of the care premises.  The decision-maker will apply his/her discretion while observing the overall day-care situation.
  • If the guardians wish to change the existing day-care place of the child to another care place, the above-mentioned policies are applied to assigning a new care place.

Early childhood education decisions are done until the end of July of the year when the child starts pre-primary education.