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Applying to pre-primary education

Pre-primary education is offered in a number of daycare centres and primary schools in Helsinki. All children permanently living in Finland go to free pre-primary education for one school year before their basic education begins. Additionally, children who have recently moved to Finland and are of the appropriate age can apply for pre-primary education.

A day in pre-primary education consists of four hours of instruction, and schedules follow the academic year. When you apply for pre-primary education for your child, you can also apply for additional municipal daycare, which supplements your child's year in pre-primary education.

Pre-primary education in Finland is sometimes called preschool. 

Esiopetukseen hakeutuminen
Ansökan till förskolan

Accepting a place in pre-primary education and admissions for the school year 2022–2023 

Please note that you cannot apply for a pre-primary education place for year 2022-2023 before 1 March 2022.

If your child is in municipal early childhood education offered by the City of Helsinki, you can accept your child's pre-primary education place on the Asti online service during 1–13 March 2022.

If the child is in private early childhood education, you should apply to pre-primary education on the City of Helsinki E-Services during 1–15 March 2022. If you wish to apply for a pre-primary education place in private pre-primary education, please contact the preferred private daycare centre directly. 

If you applied for a place in pre-primary education or supplementary daycare during the application period 1–15 March, you will receive the decision during May. If you have applied after 15 March, your application will be processed during May-June and the decision will be sent as soon as possible after processing.

Pre-primary education place of a child in municipal early childhood education accepted on Asti online service

We automatically assign a pre-primary education place for your child as close to your home as possible. The location of your child's pre-primary education is based on the admission area in which the child is living in according to the child's home address.

As a guardian, you can choose whether you want to accept the place, or whether you want to apply for place at another location. Pre-primary education places are assigned according your child's home address on 31 January 2022. If you apply for a place at another location, you can only get a place if there are free places. If the desired place is located in another pre-primary education admission area, a child may get a place based on the principle of secondary admission, provided that no new group is created at the location. Pre-primary education place in another admission area does not guarantee that the child's basic education would continue in the same area.

Supplementary early childhood education on top of pre-primary education can be organised in the pre-primary education location according to a family's needs. There is no need to apply for the supplementary early childhood education separately.

Accept your child's pre-primary education place on the Asti online service during 1–13 March 2022.

If you do not accept the place by 13 March, or decline it, the place will become vacant for another child. You then also need to apply for another place for your child. In this case, apply via the City of Helsinki E-services by 15 March 2022.

Helsinki offers Finnish-language and Swedish-language pre-primary education both as a municipal service and as a private service. To apply for pre-primary education at a private daycare centre, contact the private daycare centre directly.

Children who are attending the trial for two-year pre-primary education complete both years of pre-primary education in the same location. If the child is attending Swedish-language immersion in early childhood education, the guardian accepts the pre-primary education place directly at the daycare centre. If you need round-the-clock care for your child, you must first decline the offered pre-primary education place, and apply for pre-primary education at a daycare centre that offers round-the-clock care via the City of Helsinki E-services. 

All children have the right to attend pre-primary education in their own pre-primary education admission area.

Find the instructions to accept the place on Asti in the pre-primary education letter:

In English: Welcome to pre-primary education – Information on pre-primary education for guardians

In Finnish: Tervetuloa esiopetukseen – tietoa huoltajille esiopetuksesta

In Swedish: Välkommen till förskolan – information om förskolan till vårdnadshavare

In Somali: Ku soo dhowow waxbarasho-horaadka – macluumaad mas’uuliyiinta loogu talagalay ee ku saabsan waxbarasho-horaadka

In Arabic: أهلاً وسهلاً إلى التعليم التمهيدي - معلومات لأولياء الأمور عن التعليم التمهيدي

In Russian: Добро пожаловать на дошкольное обучение – информация о системе дошкольного обучения для опекунов

Applying for a pre-primary education place for a child who is not in municipal early childhood education

If your child is not in municipal early childhood education organised by the city, you have to apply for a pre-primary education place for your child. Apply for pre-primary education via the City of Helsinki E-services during 1–15 March 2022 (asiointi.hel.fi). If you are unable to use the online application, fill in the paper application and send it to Service Guidance for Early Childhood Education, PO Box 51300, 00099 City of Helsinki. 

Supplementary early childhood education on top of pre-primary education can be organised in the pre-primary education location according to your family's needs. You can apply for the supplementary early childhood education with the same pre-primary education application by choosing ‘Early education in addition to pre-primary education’ in the Service menu on the City of Helsinki E-services. Please note that you cannot apply for supplementary early childhood education on Asti.

Pre-primary education letter for children who are not in municipal early childhood education:

In English: Welcome to pre-primary education – Information on pre-primary education for guardians

In Finnish: Tervetuloa esiopetukseen – tietoa huoltajille esiopetuksesta

In Swedish: Välkommen till förskolan – information om förskolan till vårdnadshavare

In Somali: Ku soo dhowow waxbarasho-horaadka – macluumaad mas’uuliyiinta loogu talagalay ee ku saabsan waxbarasho-horaadka

In Arabic: أهلاً وسهلاً إلى التعليم التمهيدي - معلومات لأولياء الأمور عن التعليم التمهيدي

In Russian: Добро пожаловать на дошкольное обучение – информация о системе дошкольного обучения для опекунов

Two-year pre-primary education

Families who are participating in the trial for two-year pre-primary education will be informed about applying in early 2022. It is not possible to apply for the trial on Asti or City of Helsinki E-services. Learn more about the two-year pre-primary education.

Applying for pre-primary education at private daycare centres

If you wish to apply to private pre-primary education, deliver an application your preferred private daycare centre directly. 

List of private daycare centres offering pre-primary education in 2022-2023 and their special emphases (PDF in Finnish)

Learn more about private options also on the Pre-primary education in different languages pages.

Applying for pre-primary education for the year 2021–2022

Apply for pre-primary education for the year 2021–2022 on the City of Helsinki E-services. 

Go to E-services

Learn more about applying for pre-primary education

Please note that you cannot apply for a pre-primary education place at a private daycare centre via City of Helsinki’s E-services. If you wish to apply for a pre-primary education place at a private daycare centre, please contact the private daycare centre directly.

Applying with paper application

You can use a paper application form to apply for a pre-primary education place in the follow situations:

  • your child does not have a Finnish social security number
  • your family does not have online banking credentials
  • you are otherwise unable to apply electronically

Please post your application to the daycare centre that is you first option in the application.

Application form for pre-primary education (PDF)

Notification of absence in pre-primary education (PDF) 

To learn more about pre-primary education, contact the municipal daycare centres. Municipal daycare centres providing pre-primary education.

See also: Pre-primary education in different languages



03.05.2022 10:14