Report: Participation of young children in early childhood education and care
Regardless of parents' income, education, and residential area, everyone should have equal opportunities to provide their child with high-quality early childhood education. Investing in a child's early years is always worthwhile, as these formative years lay the foundation for their entire life. The report of The Central Union of Child Welfare, "Participation of young children in early childhood education and care – Five Perspectives", examines the participation rates of 2–3-year-olds in early childhood education in different parts of Finland and the factors influencing it.
This publication discusses the participation of young children in early childhood education and care from five perspectives. Data is analyzed based on family type, mother's level of education, family income, and the organization and form of early childhood education, as well as its full-time nature. The publication does not intend to take a stand for or against early childhood education and care, but the purpose is to observe how variables, such as a child’s first language, the region where they live and the way the early childhood education and care is administered, relate to the participation rate. The publication uses data by Statistics Finland on the participation of 2–4-year-olds in early childhood education in Mainland Finland as of December 1, 2021.
The results are discussed in the light of the current debate on early childhood education and care and the objectives of the Government Programme. The focus of the publication is ensuring that every child has the right to safe and high-quality early childhood education and care in their first years of life. The individual needs of each family must also be taken into account when considering a child’s participation in early childhood education and care. Download the report in English (pdf) or find it here in Finnish.