Nurseries around the world – Finland

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By Peter Vesterbackafounder of Connected Day and father of two

Our last stop for this series is at Auringonpilkku nursery in Finland, where playful, happy children grow up to be happy, successful adults


In Finland, the school-starting age is seven. Every child under the age of seven is guaranteed a place at a nursery, which has been mandated by law since 1996. Most nurseries in Finland are run by the municipalities, but there are many private nurseries all over the country. The city of Helsinki operates approximately 300 nurseries, where children are accepted from the age of nine months. Preschool forms part of the nursery and is for six-year-olds. Parents often want their children to attend a nursery nearest to their home and have to apply four months before the place is needed in order to secure the nursery of their choice.

Children at a typical Finnish nursery are given a lot of time to play and there is no strict curriculum. Parents moving to Finland from abroad often worry about whether the children learn anything if they just play all day and do not attend school until they are seven. However, teenagers in Finland are always at the top of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests, which compare learning results between different countries.

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