First level of education

Nursery schools focus on creative work and play, or, as they call it, learning by discovery and experimentation. All aspects of development shall be fostered and supported, and their interaction stimulated.

Structure of the first level of education

  • Nursery-school upbringing and work is based on special upbringing methods and ideology drawn from the writings and research of various philosophers and educational experts. Information on upbringing trends may be found on nursery-school websites.
  • The cornerstone of nursery-school work is play. It is the nursery-school teacher's teaching method and the child's path to learning.
  • The nursery-school head teacher is responsible for the upbringing work of the nursery school, organises such work in co-operation with other members of staff and parents, and is responsible for recruiting other staff.
  • The assistant nursery-school head teacher is the head teacher's deputy. A nursery-school teacher or a head of department is responsible for the children and the child development in his or her department. Instructors work under the guidance of nursery school teachers.
  • Many local communities have nursery-school counsellors or special education teachers, who provide counselling to nursery-school head teacher, staff and parents regarding the work of the nursery school as a whole.
  • It is important that good co-operation between the parents and nursery-school staff is fostered as soon as the child starts nursery school. There are parents' associations working at most nursery schools.
  • The Ministry of Education develops the child-development policy for nursery schools, and organises an assessment of the work in nursery schools. Nursery school is not compulsory, which sets it apart from the first level of schooling.

Links of interest

Laws and regulations