Opetusalan Ammattijärjestö


OAJ welcomes the new curriculum in early childhood education

OAJ is satisfied at the release of the Finnish national core curriculum for early childhood education and care, which the union significantly contributed to. OAJ president Olli Luukkainen believes that the new curriculum raises the status of early childhood education teachers.
From  the beginning of August 2017, all early childhood education institutes in Finland, whether organized by a municipality, a joint municipal authority or other service provider shall prepare and adopt a local curriculum compliant with the National Core Curriculum for Early Childhood Education and Care, issued by the Finnish National Agency for Education.
The core curriculum document steers the provision, implementation and development of early childhood education and care as well as promotes the implementation of high-quality and equal early childhood education and care in the entire country. The core curriculum also contains references to the legislation governing early childhood education and care as well as instructions for preparing and developing local curricula.
–We are very pleased that Finnish early childhood education (ECE) now has a new curriculum, the first such policy for early learners, jointly designed by the education sector, Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish National Agency for Education. This is a good example of how important it is that teacher unions and the Ministry of Education and Culture meet and prepare all education guidelines together, OAJ President Olli Luukkainen says.
The new curriculum is mandatory for all ECE institutions in Finland. Luukkainen sees this as a significant  step in developing lifelong learning and equal opportunities in education. He also notes that Finland now has “a perfect chain of learning and curriculums” from ECE and preschool education to primary level.
–This new curriculum raises the status of preschool teachers and early childhood education teachers, because teachers will be the ones ensuring that this pedagogical curriculum is applied and realized  in their daily work with all children’s groups in ECE institutions. We are expecting that in the near  future we will see a rise  in ECE teachers’ salaries, because their duties and work are now even more demanding. OAJ’s aim is also to raise ECE teachers’ education to master level, says Luukkainen.
This article was first published online by Education International