Instruction preparing for basic education

A child in preparatory instruction is entitled to at least 900 hours of preparatory instruction during the year of pre-primary education, as a rule, 5 hours a day, five days a week. The arrangements are decided on an annual basis.

Preparatory instruction aims to promote the pupil’s proficiency in the Finnish/Swedish language, balanced development and integration into Finnish society. Another aim is to provide the skills needed when moving on to basic education.

The aim of the preparatory instruction in pre-primary education is to continuously and systematically assess the development of language skills and to systematically strengthen the child’s Finnish/Swedish language skills. Particular attention is paid to supporting the development of the child’s bilingual/multicultural identity and strengthening the child’s readiness for school. The working methods used in teaching encourage children from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds to use the language in different activities and integrate them into Finnish culture.


Instruction preparing for basic education may be given to pupils with an immigrant background whose Finnish and Swedish skills and other capabilities are not adequate for studying in pre-primary and basic education groups.


You can apply for preparatory instruction in pre-primary education for your child if your child’s mother tongue is not Finnish. Contact the head of the daycare centre. The personnel at the daycare centre will determine the child’s need for preparatory instruction. If the child’s Finnish language skills or other skills are not sufficient for attending a pre-primary education group, the child is entitled to preparatory instruction during the year of pre-primary education.

Payment information

The service is free of charge.

Service background and legislation

Instruction preparing immigrants or children with an immigrant background for basic education promotes integration, language proficiency and learning of the content areas of subjects. Potential studies of the pupil’s native language promote learning skills and reinforce cultural identity as well as lay a foundation for learning Finnish and/or Swedish.

For pupils aged 6 to 10 years, a minimum of 900 hours of this instruction is provided, and for pupils older than this, a minimum of 1,000 hours. Pupils participating in the instruction have the right to transfer to basic education even before these hours have been completed if permitted by their skills and capabilities. Municipalities organise instruction preparing immigrants for basic education on a voluntary basis.

Related services

Applying for a secondary school place Assistance services and aids for basic education pupils Basic education Completion of compulsory basic education Completion of compulsory education at home Early childhood education that supplements pre-primary education Enhanced support in basic education Extended compulsory education Finnish or Swedish as a second language in basic education Flexible basic education Guidance counselling in basic education How to apply for the English-language class in basic education How to apply for the music class starting from the 3rd grade Individualised syllabus in basic education Instruction not bound to grades Instruction of native languages Instruction preparing immigrants for basic education Meals in day-care centres, pre-primary education, basic education and upper secondary schools Part-time special-needs education Pre-primary education Pre-primary education pupil welfare Pupil welfare services in basic education Religion and worldview studies Russian-speaking special-needs teacher in early childhood education School enrolment School transport Separate examination in basic education Special early childhood education coordinator Special teaching arrangements Special-needs education and special-needs support in basic education Special-needs teachers in early childhood education Starting basic education one year earlier than enacted Starting basic education one year later than enacted Studying a voluntary foreign language in basic education Support for growth and learning in pre-primary education Support measures for learning in basic education Weighted-curriculum education