Y.E.S day care in Vantaa is a community with capital C


Y.E.S day care is the only English-speaking municipal day care in Finland. Besides English, day care also gives the children rich multicultural learning environment.

Lapsia leikkimässä.

Photo: Sercan Alkan

The name of the day care, Y.E.S, comes from Young English Speakers. Since year 2003 the day care has been owned by the City of Vantaa. There are 24 staff members from which 12 are Early Childhood Education teachers. The day care provides placement for 150 children in 8 different groups. Two pre-school groups are fully in English and six are mixed. Half of the children speak Finnish as their mother-tongue and half come from other language backgrounds.

For a child to be able to apply for Y.E.S day care, English language must be somehow already involved in the child´s learning environment. With this prerequisite the day care looks after the best interest and benefit of the child. The day care has an emphasis on those kids who’s other or both parents speak English, or the family is otherwise connected to English language, for example if the family is planning to move to a country where the most common language spoken is English.

Multicultural community is the heart of the action

Ashu Saini-Martiskainen works as an Early Childhood Education teacher in a group called the Bugs. She loves the multicultural atmosphere in the day care.

– We are a multicultural day care. When I come to work, I am very inspired every day. I love that our team members are from different nationalities. We have Indian, Asian, Filipinos, Sir Lankans, Spanish, Hungarians, Estonians, Marockan, one Iranian and Finns of course. It´s very interesting because when the employees come from different educational and cultural backgrounds, we all have different approaches to solving problems. That´s what makes our work so rich and diverse, emphasizes Ashu.

The Y.E.S. day care works as any other day care in Finland and follows all the same Early Childhood Education guidelines. Ashu likes the fact that teachers in Finland have the professional freedom to apply their knowledge on planning the education.

– I am so happy I got this opportunity to bring my educational background and experience here. I have my freedom from my lovely boss to execute my ideas. It is all about the on-going communication within our community. What is important is that it´s very easy for us to approach our boss. We also have great confidence in her team leading skills so it´s gives us more confidence to work as we do, comments Ashu.

The Director of the day care, Soile Granholm, says the multicultural community is really the heart of the whole action.

– It brings me a lot of joy the lead this team whose members are from all over the world. I have always said this day care is a community with capital C where we cherish each other. Maybe because of different language and cultural backgrounds we are tighter unit than a regular day care, underlines Soile.

Ashu adds that she has noticed that many multicultural parents are more comfortable putting their children to a multicultural day care than the regular one. Multicultural backgrounds of the staff also help co-operation with the families as they might have similar backgrounds and communication is easier if they share the same mother-tongue.

– Also, the families work side by side with us. We have a parent association that is very much involved in our educational work, and they are organizing lovely things for the children and the families, says Soile.

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