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Preschool Preschool


Dear parents/guardians of six-year-olds!

The preschool year is an important phase in a child's life. Preschool education supports child's individual learning. A child learns by doing and playing together with other children. Preschool education follows its own curriculum, which is based on the National Core Curriculum.

Preschool education has changed in a binding way from the beginning of 2015. All six-year old children who will be starting school in 2017 and are residents of the City of Oulu attend preschool, which is provided free of charge by the municipality.

If your child was born in 2010, he/she can start the free preschool on 15 August 2016. The duration of preschool education is four hours per day for the period of 15 August 2016 to 31 May 2017. For the most part, preschool schedules are similar to school schedules.

According to the amendment in the early childhood education law in 2016 a preschool aged child has a right to attend a part time early education activity in addition to free preschool education, if the child´s guardians work or study full-time or work as businessmen. A child can attend the part-time education also, if it is necessary for her/his development or she/he needs support or the family conditions require it. A preschool aged child has a right to part-time early education during preschool holidays.

Preschool education in practice

Preschool education is primarily provided in the part-time and full-time day care groups of municipal kindergartens and, to some extent, on school premises. The goal is to form
groups that allow cooperation with the children's future school.

The formation of preschool groups and places is influenced by the number of children that have signed up for preschool. Families will be informed of the preschool place allocated to their child
along with the preschool admissions decision. Even if a child has been allocated a preschool place in connection with a school or in the vicinity of a school, this does not guarantee this child a place in that school later on.

Most private kindergartens also provide preschool education. You can find information of private kindergartens in the City of Oulu online here.

Preschool education in English

Preschool education in the English language is provided by the Pikku-Ainon päiväkoti, on the premises of Oulu International School, for children who pass a separate language test. Preschool education in the English language will be provided if there are at least seven children who meet the selection criteria.

After attending preschool education in the English language at Pikku-Ainon päiväkoti, the children may continue their education
at Oulu International School. The parents of the children in this preschool group are obliged to pay the costs of transportation themselves.

There are also other, mainly private kindergartens in the City of Oulu that provide preschool education in English, Swedish or German. After attending preschool education in these preschool groups, the children can access Oulu International School
via entrance tests.

The child's parents, or a person authorised by the child's parents, are responsible for taking the child to and picking him/her up from daycare or preschool. Under section 32 of the Basic Education Act, children who attend free-of-charge preschool are entitled to free transportation in some cases. This free transportation does not apply to preschoolers who also attend municipal or private daycare. An application for transportation (on the right) must be handed in by the end of April. 

Preschool and daycare

Preschool attendance is free of charge. If preschool is complemented with daycare services, a fee of 60% of the full-time daycare fee allocated to the family will be charged. The fee will also be charged during breaks and between semesters even if the family does not use the service. Preschool education which is provided by private kindergartens that are funded by service vouchers/private daycare allowance, receives additional financial support from the City.

There are plans to renew the early childhood education fees. We will inform during the coming spring about the amendments in the law and decree of customer fee.

Signing up for preschool

You can sign your child up for preschool during the period of 18 January 2016 to 29 January 2016.

If your child is in daycare, you can sign your child up for preschool with a specific form in the kindergarten. If you wish your child to begin preschool somewhere other than the
current kindergarten, you will need to fill in an electronic application.

If your child is in family daycare or attends open early education activities, or if your child is not in daycare, you can sign your child up for preschool online. Please select the ‘Preschool
(signing up for preschool) option on the front page.

Preschool year 2016-2017

Autumn term 15.8.-22.12.2016

• Autumn holiday 24.-30.10.2016 (calendar week 43)
• Christmas holiday 23.12.2016-8.1.2017

Spring term 9.1.-31.5.2017

• Winter holiday 6.-12.3.2017 (calendar week 10)

Preschool education is not provided

• 5.-6.12.2016
• 1.5.2017
• 25.-26.5.2017

Various schools may have different annual schedules. Preschool education starts and ends in all preschool units on the same day.

Further information

The daycare service coordination team is happy to help you in all daycare-related matters,
Tel. 08 558 45300, educare(at)