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 in Oulu school year 2020-2021

If your child is born in 2014, he/she can start preschool on 17 of August 2020. The duration of preschool is 4 hours per day for the period of 12 August 2019 to 29 May 2020. For the most part, preschool schedules are similar to school schedules.

According to Basic Education Act a child must take part in a year long preschool or other activity that fulfils the goals of preschool one year before the beginning of basic education. Taking part in preschool education is not compulsory, but parents themselves can organize the education so that preschool goals will be fulfilled. The responsibility of attendance is on the guardian.

According to the amendment in the early childhood education law in 2016 a preschool aged child has a right to attend 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. 

Preschool terms and holidays 2019-2020

Autumn term  12.8.-20.12.2019
Spring term 7.1. - 29.5.2020

Preschool education is not provided:

  • Autumn holiday 21. - 27.10.2019 (week 43)
  • Independence day 6.12.2019
  • Christmas holiday 21.12.2019 - 6.1.2020
  • Winter holiday 2. - 8.3.2020
  • Easter holiday 10. - 13.4.2020
  • May day 1.5.2020
  • Holy Thursday 21.5.2020 and Friday 22.5.2020

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

Preschool terms and holidays 2020-2021

Autumn term  17.8. - 21.12.2020
Spring term 7.1. - 31.5.2021

Preschool education is not provided:

  • Autumn holiday 19. - 25.10.2020 (week 43)
  • Christmas holiday 22.12.2020 - 6.1.2021
  • Winter holiday 8. - 14.3.2021
  • Easter holiday 2. - 5.4.2021
  • Holy Thursday 13.5.2021

Preschool education in practice

Preschool education is provided in Early Childhood Education centres and on some 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 admission decision. Even if a child has been allocated a preschool place in connection with a school or in the vicinity of a school, does not guarantee this child a place in that school later on.

Preschool education is free of charge

Preschool attendance is free of charge. If preschool is complemented with part-time early education, a fee of 60% of the full-time early education fee allocated to the family will be charged. The fee will be charged fully, if the family uses the service during brakes and between semesters. Those Private daycare centres that have been accepted to give preschool education are financially supported by the City.

The child´s parents, or a person authorized by the child´s parents, are responsible for taking the child to and picking him/her up from early education or from preschool education.  Children who attend free-of-charge preschool are entitled to free transportation in some cases. This transportation does not apply to preschoolers who also attend municipal or private daycare or who attend only private preschool. An application for transportation must be handed in by the end of April. 

Signing up for preschool

You can sign your child up for preschool during the period of 13 January to 26 January 2020.

You will need to fill in an electronic application. Please select the ‘Preschool registration' (signing up for preschool) option on the front page.

You will receive the decision on your child's preschool placement by mail by the end of April.

Bilingual preschool education

Preschool education in the English language is provided by 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 English in 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.

Bilingual preschool education is also organised in some other municipal and private daycare centres. After attending preschool education in English, children can access Oulu International School via entrance tests.

Preschool education is also organised in Swedish and German.

More information about bilingual preschool education options.


Preparatory preschool education

Preparatory education is for children whose Finnish language skills are on the elementary level. Observation is used to specify the level of language skills and the levels are defined in Pienten kielireppu (the language rucksack for small). The participation in preparatory education is always agreed with guardians.

In Oulu, preparatory preschool for basic education for 6-year old children is organized in municipal daycare centres. Those children who take part in preparatory education get tuition 5 hours per day on preschool working days.

Esiopetusesite suomeksi

Transportation application for free-of-charge preschool education (pdf)

Further information

The daycare service coordination team is happy to help you in all daycare-related matters,

Tel. 08 558 45300