Flexibly scheduled early childhood education and care: experiences of Finnish parents and educators

Auteur :

Anna Rönkä, Leena Turja, Kaisa Malinen, Mia Tammelin & Marjatta Kekkonen

Jaar van publicatie :

2017

Type :

Wetenschappelijke publicatie


This study focuses on flexibly scheduled early childhood education and care (ECEC), an institutional childcare service for Finnish families where both parents, or a single parent, work non-standard hours. Although many countries nowadays offer extended hours day care, only Finland has a publicly provided, law-based system guaranteeing ECEC during non-standard as well as standard hours. We explore, drawing on parental survey data, what kinds of families use such services and when. Furthermore, we utilise web-survey data obtained from early educators to find out what they report as the main challenges involved in implementing flexibly scheduled ECEC. The results showed that single-parent families and lower educated parents were over-represented among the families using flexibly scheduled ECEC. The unpredictability of working-life tends to spill over to ECEC. Due to varying parental work schedules, children have unique daily and weekly rhythms, which in turn impact on administration, pedagogical issues and meeting children’s needs