Early childhood education Espoo invented a reform for kindergartens that drives parents to despair – Everyday schedule must now be known to the nearest minute

With the reservation system, Espoo aims to better dimension its personnel. The city suffers from a labor shortage in early childhood education.

Espoo parents must start reserving their children ‘s time in the daycare in minutes from April.

Espoo announced on Monday that the city will introduce an electronic service called Evaka, where children’s daycare time must be announced to the nearest 10 minutes.

The time is recorded on a weekly basis and must be marked on the service on the Monday of the previous week. The service can also indicate the time of attendance for several weeks or months at a time if the child is in the kindergarten regularly at the same times.

New the practice has aroused astonishment and despair among Espoo parents.

“When I first saw the message about it, I didn’t know if I should cry or laugh. Such a request is not caught up in real life. It is by no means realistic that on the Monday of the previous week I would be able to announce the times of the following week to the nearest ten minutes, “says a resident of Espoo. Mirva Brola.

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The Brola family includes two kindergarten-age children and one school-age child. Both parents work in specialist roles where working hours can vary. For example, a sudden meeting may be added to the calendar, or a busy task may be stretched.

“Such wishes become a bit of a feeling that one doesn’t understand what working life is today. Not everyone’s working hours are exactly eight to four. ”

Many tool calendars are also not locked weeks in advance.

“The calendar fills up a little quietly from Teams meetings, it may not be ready on the previous Monday.”

Booking system underlying this is the city’s desire to become more efficient: according to the city, children’s attendance times have differed significantly from what has been agreed with families.

The desire for efficiency must be understood, and it is certainly not in the interests of parents to burden early childhood education unnecessarily, Brola says.

“But it’s the wrong way to ask for such an accurate estimate that it’s impossible to give.”

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“Running a family with children is already such a puzzle that such a requirement only adds to the stress,” Brola says.

Espoon Director of Finnish Early Childhood Education Virpi Mattilan according to one of the goals of the booking system is to gather information that will allow staff to be sized for day care centers correctly.

In Espoo, as in many other Finnish municipalities, there is a shortage of labor in early childhood education.

“If it is agreed that the child will come to the kindergarten at 6.30, but will not come, then the staff reserved for the kindergarten will be lost.”

Until now, care has been taken in day care centers so that when a child starts day care, care periods are also agreed upon. The times have remained the same unless the agreement is changed.

Sanctions from now on, there is no promise, even if the announced 10-minute time frame is delayed, Mattila says.

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“Yes, every child gets the early childhood education they need.”

According to Mattila, if your own working hours are variable, you should enter such times in the system that are certainly sufficient.

“When you roughly know your schedule, put in the best information. It’s not worth the terrible pain of this. ”

However, the system is intended to help guardians to take responsibility for making early childhood education as cost-effective as possible, Mattila says.

“However, this is being paid for by society.”

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