Information to guardians with children in early education 3.8.2020

The summer semester is ending in Vantaa’s Early Education, and a new semester is beginning. All day care centers, open day care homes, and neighborhood parks are open again on 3 August 2020 and club activity starts on 13 August 2020. We want to warmly welcome all the children and families to participate in our services after the summer vacation period.

Both the Early Education Act and the law regarding children’s care at home and support for private day care will change on 1 August 2020. The change in the Early Education Act means that all children have a subjective right to full time early education. In Vantaa, the legal reform does not cause a change in the current situation because in Vantaa, all children have had a right to full time early education already before the change in the law.

During the coronavirus spring, some of the children have been away from early education and preschool for quite a long time, so it is worth paying special attention to your child’s return to early education. Guardians may need a conversation regarding their child’s situation, in which case you can make extra appointments for conversations with Early Education personnel.

Practices for new children starting in early education/preschool and their orientation

Because of the exceptional circumstances, the introductory visits to the new early education location may have been left out completely during the spring/summer. In Vantaa, we have in use a functioning model for a child’s starting in early education that will be implemented when the new semester starts, following hygiene guidelines.

In the fall semester, orientation to early education/preschool can take place as far as possible outside. In addition, orientations can be done using remote connections/notifications between guardians and personnel according to possibilities. During the orientation period, as a guardian you can become acquainted with the early education rooms, the activity of the children’s group, the personnel, and the other children together with your child. Guardians are encouraged to come to play in the day care center’s yard also after opening hours.

In the fall semester, the guardians and children in Vantaa can come to become acquainted with the indoor spaces of the early education locations with personnel as a guide, following the hygiene guidelines. In Vantaa, a model is used in the inside orientation in which one worker receives the child and family and the orientation is done in such a way that there are no other children or adults present in the rooms at the same time. Touching the operating equipment in use and starting to play, for example, is avoided.

Orientation to the day care center or family day care can only happen when healthy.

The activities of the children’s groups

Children’s drop-off and pick-up situations will be realized in the most appropriate manner for the individual in cooperation with the guardians. The guideline that says that guardians may not come into the inside spaces of the day care center/unit will be removed. It is important, however, to observe hygiene and the minimalization of contact in drop-off and pick-up situations.

The children’s groups function normally in small groups during the day. The amount of contact in the activity is minimalized by arranging activity outside as much as possible, and by going on outings during the day. Outings are staggered, so that the unification of groups is avoided in outing situations.

At mealtimes, the personnel distribute the portions to the children. The children may not take food themselves or handle the dishes and cutlery of others. If a child is absent from early education or preschool, he or she will participate in the mealtimes that are arranged in the rooms of the early education or preschool, either.

You can bring a clean sleep toy to be kept in the day care center if you wish. The sleep toy will be used to try to increase the sense of security of newly starting children specially to help them fall asleep more easily. For the time being, it is not allowed for children to take other toys with them to the day care center.

According to the guidelines of the Institute for Health and Well-being, a child is to remain at home if he or she has even slight symptoms of a cold. A child is to be taken in for a coronavirus test with a low threshold. The child can return to the day care center when he or she has not had symptoms for a full day and night. Someone infected with the coronavirus is to remain away from early education at least seven days after the symptoms start, but longer if necessary, in such a way that he or she has been without symptoms at least two days before returning to early education. On the part of children belonging to high risk groups, the health assessment of their participation in early education is based on the assessment made by the instance treating the child.

Despite intensifying hygiene, we make sure that the child receives the adult closeness, security, and interaction that is needed as much in the same way as before as possible.

Cooperation with guardians

The child’s early education plan (vasu) conversations and in preschool, the child’s preschool learning plan (LEOPS) conversations will be done during the fall. Because of the exceptional circumstances during the spring semester, the conversations were held successfully via different types of remote connections. The use of these can be continued alongside normal conversations.

In the fall semester, parent meetings will be arranged in Early Education and in preschool, the manner of arranging of which will be agreed to with the Early Education unit.

Contact can be maintained with children who are in quarantine and special situations from the early education location. The manner of maintaining contact can be agreed in more detail with the guardians and the early education location.

Seeing the familiar teacher, friends, and day care center by video connection, for example, might be important even for a small child. Messages from the early education or preschool group to the child maintain his or her feeling of belonging to the group and may ease the child’s longing for his or her friends, the day care center staff and activity.

Chief physician Kirsi Valtonen’s greetings to parents with children in day care (June 2020)

The corona-situation is under control in Vantaa and chief physician Kirsi Valtonen encourages parents to bring their children to day care and preschool. Day care centers and schools have not been significant places for the spread of infection. Valtonen points out that the disease is less common among children than adults. Severe cases of disease are extremely rare among children and we do not know of any such case in Vantaa. After an exceptional spring it is important for children to come to day care to learn and play with their friends.

Watch chief physician Kirsi Valtonen's greetings (in Finnish) here.

You can receive additional information from your child’s early education location.

Welcome to Early Education!

Kind regards, Sole Askola-Vehviläinen
Director of Early Education

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Published: 5.8.2020 
(modified: )