New digital systems support cooperation between home, day-care centre and school

Published: 11.10.2021 10.45

The last year and a half has changed the way we work, study and live. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has created a need for new ways of communication and cooperation, digitalisation has taken steps during this period that would normally take years to take root in our everyday lives. At the same time, the Growth and Learning Sector has developed various digital solutions to make the everyday life of families and pupils in Espoo easier and to facilitate communication between the home, early childhood education and educational institutes. The systems are also intended to support learning and participation.

The aim of the projects, for families and pupils as well as for staff in early childhood education and educational institutes, is to make it easier to get things done. When everyone has fewer usernames and passwords to remember, the use of new systems is smoother, and the quality of the service we offer is further improved with the new features that facilitate cooperation.

eVaka system used in Espoo early childhood education for over a year

The eVaka system for early childhood education, designed to streamline communication between the home and the day-care centre, has been used smoothly in Espoo since March 2020. The development work is still ongoing, and other cities are now involved.

The eVaka system has received praise from users for its ease of use. It has streamlined the application process for early childhood and pre-primary education by simplifying the application process. In addition, a function has now been introduced to record the presence of children in day-care centres in real time on mobile devices. This enables early childhood education units to better monitor staff needs. In the future, parents/guardians can notify children’s attendance times and holiday information via eVaka in advance.

From the very beginning, eVaka’s functionalities have been developed with a clear focus on the needs of early childhood education. In order to facilitate communication, all electronic communication between the home and the day-care centre will, in future, take place via eVaka.

The above functions are already in use in pilot day-care centres in Espoo, and they will also be implemented in other day-care centres in the city during this and next year. In addition, a digital early childhood and pre-primary education plan and pedagogical documentation will be added to eVaka next year. This will further strengthen the participation of the parent/guardian in the child’s everyday life in early childhood education and pre-primary education. In the future, parents/guardians can also submit their income information, give various consents and respond to inquiries electronically.

DigiOne supports pupils on their own merits

With regard to schools and educational institutes, we are involved in the DigiOne project, creating a new digital learning ecosystem together with other participating cities. The objectives of the DigiOne project are more far-reaching than one might think of a digital project at first glance: to create better preconditions for the learning and well-being of children and young people and to reduce inequalities by supporting each learner on his or her own merits.

DigiOne also promotes a change in the pedagogical operating culture and management. A complete, modern system makes everyone’s work easier: pupils and parents/guardians, teachers, head teachers and administration. Learners can more easily monitor their own learning and the achievement of their goals. Teachers, on the other hand, receive new tools for planning teaching and supporting learning, as well as for building individual learning paths.

The DigiOne project is now building a technical platform and defining functionality requirements and procurement processes. Experts from the municipalities involved in the project are closely involved in the definition work. During 2022, the project will implement the first small-scale pilots, which will be expanded in the following year with the construction of the system. The goal is to deploy the DigiOne solution in the project municipalities in 2024.