Preparatory education is meant for 6 years old children from immigrant backgrounds whose Finnish language skills or other skills prevent them from participating in preschool education. In Oulu, preparatory education is offered to children whose Finnish language skills are on basic user level. Observation is used as the language skill evaluation method, and language skill levels are defined in Pienten kielireppu.
The conversation about starting preparatory preschool education is held together with the guardian. Early childhood education and care service coordinator makes the final decision of starting preparatory preschool education based on the daycare centre’s managers proposal.
Preparatory education is arranged inclusively in the preschool group so that the child is taught Finnish for five hours a day. Four hours are realized as a part of preschool education. Preparatory education and Finnish as a second language teaching belong in the field of general support. Preparatory education is arranged within the child’s own preschool group. Evaluation follows the same principles as preschool education.
Preparatory preschool education follows the common goals of preschool education, but also takes into account the needs of the immigrant. The 6 year-old child who participates in preparatory education attends preschool group activities and also receives Finnish as a second language teaching.