Notice to Guardians of Children in Early Childhood Education
In accordance with the Finnish Government's new guidelines, instruction and early childhood education compliant with the Basic Education Act and the Early Childhood Education Act shall be adopted in stages as of May 14. Early childhood education units have remained open, but it has been strongly recommended that guardians take care of their children at home. The restrictions set for day-care centers will be canceled, and children can return to early childhood education. Health authorities have noted that it is safe for children to return to early childhood education.
At the same time, the extra remunerations of early childhood education customer fees will terminate on May 13, 2020. Municipal early childhood education will adopt the normal practice, according to which a care-place guarantee can be granted for a suspension of at least two months.
All early childhood education day-care centers and group family day care places will open on May 14, 2020. Of non-legislative services, open day-care centers, residential parks, and clubs will continue to be closed.
Preschool education will no longer be arranged by remote access as of May 14. Children shall participate in preschool education on the spot. Guardians can, however, apply for permission for absence. The directors of day-care centers will assess whether there are justified grounds for granting absences. For example, a disease or a students’ or their family member’s being a member of a risk group are justified reasons for absence.
We will keep the day-care centers’ groups of children as small as possible, and daily early childhood activities will take place in groups of children smaller than usual. We will utilize all the indoor and outdoor premises available to the day-care centers, so that both children and adults can stay in as spacious areas as possible. During the day, the children will take turns in engaging in outdoor activities, which will be many and at different times of the clock. We will organize children's entry to the day-care centers and their departure from them in such a way that the guardians will not come inside the day-care centers, which means that physical distances can be kept. Children may not bring their own toys to the day-care centers. Children's meals will also take place in small groups. During the day, we observe enhanced hygiene instructions; sneeze in a sleeve; always wash our hands when coming indoors, before means, in connection with bathroom visits, as well as when returning home. Despite the enhanced hygiene, we will ensure that the children will receive the adults’ nearness, security and interaction—to the extent possible— in the same way as before the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the instructions given by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), children shall stay at home in case of even minor flu symptoms. A child who has been ill can return to the day-care center after one symptomless day. Those who have been infected with the coronavirus, must stay away from early childhood education for at least seven days from the beginning of the symptoms. When required, children can stay away longer: children may return to early childhood education when they have had no symptoms for two days. Attending physicians will medically assess the participation in early childhood education of those children belonging in risk groups. The attending physician will assess whether a child or their family member with a severe basic illness or who needs regular immunity-weakening medication can return to early childhood education. Children whose basic illness even under normal circumstances presents an enhanced risk of infection belong to an enhanced coronavirus disease risk group.
We are happy to be able to again receive children to early childhood education. In order to ensure a sufficient number of employees, we kindly ask you to inform your early childhood education place of your need for care from May 14 to May 31 by phone, email, or other means agreed between you and your child’s early childhood education place. This will help us prepare for HR, meal service and cleaning arrangements. We are sorry to trouble you with such a hasty schedule, especially since we just recently asked you to inform us of your need for care in the summer.
For further information, contact the director of your child’s early childhood education place. You can ask for further information on arrangement of activities and about any concerns you may have as regards children returning to early childhood education.
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