Nursery rhymes, games and music help to learn languages in a new bilingual day-care group

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2020-05-22 11:21

A bilingual group (Finnish-English) is starting in Kivimiehen päiväkoti day-care centre in August 2020. The group is for 4-5-years-old. The bilingual group in Kivimiehen päiväkoti day-care centre is the first bilingual day-care group in Espoo.

"The children have a natural curiosity for foreign languages and cultures. This creates an amazing starting point for learning. In our bilingual group the children will learn through plays, games, nursery rhymes, reading, singing and through music," says the head of the Kivimiehen päiväkoti early childhood education unit Marja Saarentaus-Mero.

Espoo wants to be a pioneer for international day-care and education. Saarentaus-Mero says Kivimiehen päiväkoti day-care centre was happy to organize the bilingual day-care group.

The activities will be planned according to the needs of the children

The group employs an early childhood education child nurse and two early childhood education teachers, one of whom mainly uses English. The teachers facilitate the activities together, and both English and Finnish will be present in the everyday life of the group.

"This is something new for us. We have visions and thoughts about how to do things, and we will start putting them into practise in autumn. The group can consist of children whose native language is English, Finnish or something else entirely. The activities will be planned according to the needs of the children," says Saarentaus-Mero.

The goal is to offer children experiences in learning foreign languages in day-care environment. Saarentaus-Mero emphasizes that the group is not just an international group working in English, but a bilingual group using both Finnish and English. The teachers speak both languages.

"We are strengthening both English and Finnish languages in the group. The two languages will go hand in hand."

Eagerly waiting for the group to start

The Kivimiehen päiväkoti day-care centre is already working in a heavily international environment. The staff uses English when communicating with several parents. The staff is waiting eagerly for the bilingual group to start in autumn.

"We are very excited and curious to be starting this kind of a group. When I told the staff about the possibility of starting a bilingual group in our day-care centre, I saw only happy faces," Saarentaus-Mero explains. She says the staff of the day-care centre is looking forward to autumn, when the group starts.

Apply for the bilingual group

If interested in a bilingual early childhood education group, please complete the application by 31 May. To apply for a bilingual group, enter the additional information in the request for a bilingual group section. A second option must also be recorded in the application form. If there is no room for all applicants in the group, another early childhood education group will be assigned to them. 

It is possible to change the information of applications already submitted. In that case, please contact the Early Childhood Education Service Guidance: +358 9 816 31000 /

Opening hours

  • Mondays 9-11 am and 12-2 pm
  • Tuesdays 9-11 am and 12-2 pm
  • Wednesdays 9-11 am and 12-2 pm
  • Thursdays 1-5 pm
  • Fridays 9-11 am and 12-2 pm

More information from the earlier news.