Service guidance and Applying for early childhood education

You can call service guidance if you have any questions regarding the early childhood education application process or different forms of care and support available. Service guidance is also responsible for selecting children for municipal early childhood education.

Application for early childhood education

Electronic Application for early childhood education(extrernal link)

You can apply for municipal early childhood education and early childhood education clubs by logging in with strong authentication at 

In the case of purchased service early childhood education day-care centres, some of them make use of their own applications and some make use of the municipal early childhood education application. More detailed contact information is available on the websites of the purchased service day-care centres.               

Applying for a service voucher takes place by applying for an early childhood education place at a service voucher day-care centre by logging in with strong authentication at Espoo’s early childhood education(extrernal link)
When filling in the application, select under ‘Preferred units’ the service voucher unit that you prefer.

Applying for a private-sector early childhood education place takes place directly with the preferred early childhood education unit. More detailed contact information is available on the websites of the private day-care centres.

The child can have one municipal early childhood education club and/or pre-primary education application pending at a time.

Applications for municipal early childhood education, club and service voucher day-care as well as private-sector early childhood education can be pending at the same time.

Do you need help on how to apply?

Applying for municipal early childhood education

Application periods

Application for early childhood education(extrernal link) can be submitted all year round.

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

Moving to Espoo does not automatically mean that your early childhood education application will be processed at an accelerated schedule (within two weeks). Espoo will provide a place in early childhood education within four months from the receipt of the application at the latest, but whenever possible, a place will be offered earlier, depending on the situation with applicants and the availability of places.

You can submit an application before you move to Espoo.

When moving from one municipality to another within the capital region (Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen), the child may keep their old municipal early childhood education place until the end of the following autumn or spring term.

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. vaka.palveluohjaus@espoo.fi

Applying for outsourced early childhood education units

The City of Espoo has concluded service purchasing agreements with some private early childhood education units. In these units the care fees are the same as in municipal early childhood education.

The application for outsourced early childhood education is submitted in the same ways as to municipal early childhood education. In the case of some units, the application process involves contacting the unit’s contact persons directly. The application process information is provided at the own websites of the early childhood education units.

How to apply for a service voucher

Families can apply for a service voucher for a private day care centre as of March 2021 and use it for early childhood education starting from 1 August 2021. The application must be submitted at least four months before early childhood education starts.

A list of the private day care centres that accept a service voucher will be added to this page in early March.

You can apply for a service voucher in the same way as you would apply for municipal early childhood education, by filling in an application through the City of Espoo’s online system (espoonvarhaiskasvatus.fi). Under the application section “Preferred units”, select the service voucher unit to which you want to apply. We recommend that you contact the day care centre at the latest after submitting your application.

Espoo's early childhood education(extrernal link)

Information for families

Service vouchers for early childhood education will be available to families in Espoo as of 1 August 2021. A service voucher is one way of providing early childhood education before a child attends compulsory education.

The City of Espoo contributes to the costs of private early childhood education by granting a child-specific service voucher to families. The municipality grants a service voucher for a child’s early childhood education.

Service vouchers are available to families whose child is entitled to early childhood education. When using a service voucher, the family cannot receive private day care allowance or child home care allowance and the child cannot attend municipal early childhood education.

The City of Espoo will grant a service voucher, at the latest, until the end of July (31 July) of the year when the child’s compulsory pre-primary education starts. The family will need to apply for a separate service voucher for the pre-primary education year if their child needs early childhood education in addition to pre-primary education.

Income-based service voucher

For families, the monthly fee for early childhood education provided through a service voucher is no more than EUR 50 higher than the fee for municipal early childhood education. Some service providers may charge the above-mentioned additional fee. The prices of each day care centre will be added to this page in March.

Frequently asked Questions for a service voucher

Below you can find answers to frequently asked questions about the service voucher.

Private early childhood education in English

Private English language daycares, language immersion daycare centers and groups.

Applying for private early childhood education

Private early childhood education is early childhood education provided by a private company or community and supervised by the city. Private day care allowance is paid for private early childhood education. It is applied from Kela.

Private early childhood education is applied directly from the chosen care place. The service provider decides on the selection of children and client fees.

How to apply for a service voucher

Families can apply for a service voucher for a private day care centre as of March 2021 and use it for early childhood education starting from 1 August 2021. The application must be submitted at least four months before early childhood education starts.

A list of the private day care centres that accept a service voucher will be added to this page in early March.

You can apply for a service voucher in the same way as you would apply for municipal early childhood education, by filling in an application through the City of Espoo’s online system (espoonvarhaiskasvatus.fi). Under the application section “Preferred units”, select the service voucher unit to which you want to apply. We recommend that you contact the day care centre at the latest after submitting your application.

Applying for clubs, decision-making, club fees and selection criteria

The club’s term runs from August until the end of May. A new application must always be submitted for the new term.  The application period for the following term of the clubs is in March. The application period for the season 2022-2023 is 1.-31.3.2022 The decision on granting a place in a club is made for one term.

However, after the application period, you can also apply to clubs for places that may be released during the term.

Applying for a club is done with the application available at the Day care and club applications site(extrernal link). It can be filled in and sent on the Internet.

Attending club activities does not impact child home care allowance paid by Kela. If the child receives private early childhood education allowance, the child cannot receive a place in a club.

Clubs

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.

Evening and round-the-clock care

Evening, weekend and round-the-clock early childhood education is intended for children whose both parents do shift work or study in the evenings and/or on weekends.

The municipal application for early childhood education is used when applying for evening and round-the-clock care. The decision on evening and/or round-the-clock care is made by the Early Childhood Education Service Guidance. The application must be appended with proof of both parents’ work or studies that cause the need for evening and round-the-clock care.

The aim of round-the-clock care is to provide the child with diverse early childhood education. Special attention is paid to ensuring general sense of safety and the understanding of the weekly and daily rhythm.

Some of the round-the-clock day-care centres offer pre-primary education from Monday to Friday at 9:00–13:00.

When the need for evening, weekend and round-the-clock care ends, the child will be assigned a new early childhood education place.

In Espoo, evening, weekend and round-the-clock early childhood education is offered at the following day-care centres in a centralised manner:

Early childhood education service guidance

Below you can find the service numbers of early childhood education service guidance and early childhood education service fees.

Early childhood education service guidance

+358 9 816 31000Mailing address PL 3125 02070 Espoon kaupunki

Contact information

Mondays 9-13 am
Tuesdays 9-13 am 
Wednesdays 9-13 am
Thursdays 13-16 pm
Fridays 9-13 am

The service guidance team gives families advice on how to apply for early childhood education and on matters related to childcare allowances.

Early childhood education fees

+358 9 816 27400The income statement with the necessary attachments can be sent to: Espoon Kaupunki, Talousyksikkö, Varhaiskasvatuksen laskutus, PL 30, 02070 Espoon kaupunki.

Contact information
Monday, Wednesday and Thursday  9-12 

There are 5 options to choose from:

1. Swedish-language day care
2. Leppävaara
3. Tapiola and Matinkylä-Olari
4. Espoonlahti
5. Espoo Centre