A1 Journal article (refereed)
Finnish early childhood education : building a strong foundation for the future (2023)

Harju-Luukkainen, H. (2023). Finnish early childhood education : building a strong foundation for the future. Asia - Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 51(5), 413-422. https://doi.org/10.1080/1359866x.2023.2238952

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsHarju-Luukkainen, Heidi

Journal or seriesAsia - Pacific Journal of Teacher Education



Publication year2023

Publication date26/07/2023


Issue number5

Pages range413-422


Publication countryAustralia

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessNot open

Publication channel open access


The Finnish education system has garnered significant international interest due to its consistently high rankings for decades. However, the same level of interest has not been extended to the country’s early childhood education system. In Finland, early childhood education and care are regarded as the cornerstones of the Finnish education system, crucial for a child’s learning, development, and lifelong learning. Research literature underscores the positive impact of a high-quality early learning environment on individuals as well as society. In Finland, policy documents provide guidance to early childhood education and care (ECEC) at various levels, encompassing values, descriptions of child development, collaboration, learning, and pedagogy. These guidelines are implemented by personnel who work closely with families and children. This paper is an adapted version of a keynote talk delivered during the Online ATEA 2022 conference. It aims to provide readers with an overview of the Finnish Early Childhood Education System, highlight key policies, and contribute to the discussion on ECEC by presenting snapshots of recent practice-oriented research in the Finnish system.

Keywordsearly childhood education and carepedagogyplay-based pedagogy

Free keywordsFinland; early childhood education; pedagogy; playful learning

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2023

Preliminary JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 17:46