In Finland there has been traditionally so called preschool one year before going to school. In august started national pilot which contains preschool also for five years old children so it will be two years in preschool. The pilot will last till 2024 and after that the government will evaluate if it will be part of the system permanently.
Lahti is one of the pilot cities and we have 11 kindergartens and about 300 children involved. For parents it means that they will get preschool for free instead of paying normally for day care. It will be interesting to see what results we will get from the pilot. In august they also lower the day care payments nationally in order to get more children participate and that also will easy the costs that parents pay.
Lahti is also participating study together with Finnish institute for health and welfare. We will study that what more healthier food in kindergartens will influence the health situation within the children. That is also very interesting study and a it has lot of to do also with sustainable development and we hope that it will also influence the values and thinking among children and their families.
Other changes that came to law in august were higher demand of ensuring enough people during absence of regular teachers and also demand for teachers to inform every possible threats for children’s well-being during the day in kindergarten.
Otherwise the virus situation is still there and during the summer the delta variant has increased infections. The kindergartens have been open and in case of infections we have contacted parents even during the weekends. That has been very stressfull for our leaders.
In this situation it was rational to postpone again our conference in Randers but we hope that situation is getting better when more and more people will be full vaccinated.
Best wishes and see you soon!