Sunday February 28, 2021

Helsinki introduces pre-school admission by text message

Published : 13 Nov 2020, 00:50

  DF Report

Press Release Photo by City of Helsinki.

Suitable early childhood education units will be offered by text message to children in Helsinki who are starting pre-primary education for six-year-olds in 2021.

This means that parents or guardians will not longer be required to submit an application, said a press release of the City of Helsinki on Thursday.

Parents and guardians will receive a message from the city and can accept the offer right away by responding to the message.

For the present, text message offers will only be provided for children who are already in municipal early childhood education. The service is part of Helsinki's strategy to provide more convenient digital services.

“We want make day-to-day activities easier for Helsinki residents and anticipate their service needs. Proactive services will help locals save time and money. Offering places in early childhood education by text message is a very concrete and terrific way to work towards these goals,” said Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori.

More than 90 per cent of children who will be turning six next year already attend municipal early childhood education services such as daycare, so the city already has information on the children’s addresses and the units that provide pre-primary education in their residential areas.

All parents or guardians of children who will be turning six in 2021 will receive a text message from the city suggesting a suitable pre-primary education placement near their home.

The suggested units are selected from each child’s residential area to ensure that the route will be as short and safe as possible. At the same time, the aim is to ensure an uninterrupted path of learning for each child, i.e. a smooth transition to the start of compulsory schooling.

Pre-primary education admission criteria apply to education provided in Finnish and Swedish.

Despite the automated system, parents and guardians are not required to accept the offers and can change the arrangements through traditional service paths.