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Welcome 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 are entitled to free pre-primary education of one school year before their compulsory 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 can sometimes be referred as preschool, as in the documents below:

Download the Welcome to preschool letter in your own language below: 

In Arabic: Welcome to preschool (pdf)

In English: Welcome to preschool (pdf)

In Somali: Welcome to preschool (pdf)

In Russian: Welcome to preschool (pdf)

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

  • Pre-primary education in year 2021–2022 starts on 11 August 2021 and ends on 4 June 2022.
  • Application period to pre-primary education (and supplementary daycare) is from 7 to 22 January 2021.
  • Information of a municipal pre-primary education place will be sent to parents or guardians on 7 January 2021 by text message.
  • If you are applying for a pre-primary education place for a child that is not in municipal early childhood education, please apply on the City of Helsinki e-service.

Go to the e-service
Read more: Application for early education or pre-primary education

We will notify you on your child’s pre-primary education place in March.

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

Applying on paper form

You can use a paper 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)

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


Pre-primary education place via text message

Your child starts pre-primary education next autumn. Children will be assigned a place within the pre-primary education admission area of their own neighbourhood. We will notify you of your child’s pre-primary education place by text message on 7 January. The first text message will be in Finnish, but you can receive the message in Swedish or English, too.

In the step-by-step instructions below, we will show you how to receive the text messages in English. The text messages will be sent to the phone number that is your primary phone number at the daycare centre.

Instructions to accept preschool place via SMS (pdf)

Click to enlarge the images:

First, you will receive a notification message.
Do not reply to this message.

First, you will receive a notification message. Do not reply to this message. You will then receive a message in Finnish offering a pre-primary education place for your child.


To receive the message in English, reply D. Next, if you wish to accept the preschool place, reply A. If you do not want to accept the preschool place, reply B.

If you want to receive the message in English, please reply D.

Next, if you wish to accept the place, reply A. You will receive a confirmation message and information on the official decision as a reply.

If you do not want to accept the place, please reply B. You will then receive a message with instructions on how to apply for a pre-primary education place online on asiointi.hel.fi by 22 January 2021.

If you have any trouble replying to the messages or you run into any issues, please contact the daycare centre's manager.



19.01.2021 12:24