Day Care and Early Childhood Education for Immigrant Children
Multicultural early childhood education supports the growth of children with immigrant backgrounds into members of two cultures and the Finnish society. Early childhood education supports the integration process of the entire family. Multicultural and multiform early childhood education strengthens the growth of all children in the group to understand parity and respect differences, as the children have the possibility to get to know different cultures, their customs and habits under the guidance of an adult.
The learning of Finnish of children who speak a foreign language is supported and strengthened in early childhood education. The language is learnt in everyday situations and during planned activity moments. The Finnish language learning is target-oriented and a language plan is part of the child’s early childhood education plan. Intensified small group teaching of Finnish language is also organized for some of the children when needed. At the same time the importance of the native language, the language spoken at home, is emphasized to the parents and they are encouraged to maintain the languages spoken at home.
The early childhood education and day care of immigrant children is mainly organized in a local kindergarten or family day care. Turku offers both municipal and private day care services. Further information about day care places and about applying for a place in day care is available from the service guidance of early childhood education.
Preschool education and preparatory teaching
Children with immigrant backgrounds participate in the preschool education with all other preschool children in preschool groups that are organized in local kindergartens or schools. Preparatory education (valmo) for preschool education is also organized in connection with preschool education for children whose Finnish or Swedish language skills and/or other abilities are not adequate for group-form education. The child’s need for preparatory education is evaluated with a test and the decision about participating in preparatory education is made together with the parents.