MDI to study the preconditions for expanding free pre-school education in Tampere City Region

MDI will study the current state of pre-school education, specifically, the costs of and preconditions for the extension of free pre-school education to Tampere City Region. The report describes the current state of pre-school education in the municipalities of the urban area, develops the comparability of the pre-primary education and economic data on the municipalities, and assesses the prerequisites for free pre-school education for 5-year-olds in the municipalities of Tampere City region.

In recent years, early childhood education in Finland has been developed in a number of interesting ways. Legislation has been reformed and guidance has been transferred to the education and training sector. Recent national experiments have aimed to raise the rate of participation in early childhood education. The National Roadmap for Early Childhood Education for 2017-2030 presents the extension of free pre-school education to 5-year-olds as one of the best means to increase participation rates, but thus far there remains no national model or set of recommendations for pre-school education for 5-year-olds. The ways in which pre-school education is organised are still quite diverse often varying greatly between and within municipalities.

The purpose of the study carried out by MDI is to support the organisation of pre-school education in urban municipalities by firstly providing an up-to-date description of pre-school and complementary early childhood service units in urban municipalities, and secondly by identifying the preconditions for free pre-school education for 5-year-olds. In addition, the study examines the potential for closer regional cooperation. The study is carried out in collaboration with Perlacon. Work began in April 2019 and will be completed in the autumn.