Day care and schools

Short term child care service (MLL)

Day care

In accordance with Finnish law, all children from 0 to 6 years living in Finland are entitled to municipal day care. Part-time and full-time day care is provided by day care centres (päiväkoti) or family day care providers (perhepäivähoito). There are also some open early childhood education services (avoimet varhaiskasvatuspalvelut) which include club or park activities for a couple of hours two times a week. Day care fees are determined on the basis of the parents’ income and the size of the family. Maximum fees are about €265 per month (2013).

A day care place for a child can be applied for at any time of the year. Applications should be submitted four months before the desired start of the day care. See the day care applications.

Private international day care is also available in Jyväskylä


All six-year-olds have the right to voluntary pre-school education before the compulsory education begins at the age of seven. The objective of pre-school education is to support the child’s preparedness for school and to practice the basic knowledge and skills that he/she will need at school.

Pre-school education is usually offered at day care centres. The English Play Schools also offer pre-school education. Pre-school education is offered on school days (Monday to Friday). The operating periods and holidays are the same as those at comprehensive schools. Instruction is given four hours per day. Pre-school education is free of charge. If a family needs child care in addition to preschool, partial day care fees are charged.

The enrolment period for pre-schools is usually in January/February. For enrolment forms (in Finnish only), please see:


If you are moving to Finland with school-aged (7–16) children, education is compulsory for them. Comprehensive education begins during the year when the child turns seven and ends when all courses have been completed, or 10 years have elapsed from the beginning of the compulsory education.

Lower stage comprehensive school takes six years, classes 1–6, and upper stage comprehensive school comprises years 7–9. Basic education, including textbooks, tools, etc., is free of charge. In addition, pupils are offered a free daily meal.

More information: