HS Vantaa | This kindergarten deviates from the norm: Bamboo parquet floors caress the feet of five-year-olds in a palace that looks like something from an interior design magazine

Tikkurila daycare differs from the traditional stream of daycare centers. Even the children’s feet are pampered by the parquet made of bamboo.

From what sound like bamboo parquet and layered color themed carpets? Thoughtful catalog photos from an interior design magazine might also come to mind from this place.

Now, however, we are in a kindergarten, in Tikkurila, Vantaa.

When entering, the shoes are taken off and left immediately in the hall. Inside, we use indoor shoes or slippers.

Even walking with just socks feels comfortable, because the floors are smooth parquet.

The interior staircase, on the other hand, is covered with a soft carpet. The stairs are placed in front of a large window, which offers a view of the trees in the adjacent yard.

“It’s a wonderful autumn here,” says the director of the Tikkurila kindergarten Marika Haaparanta.

Tikkurila the new daycare center opened at the end of 2019.

In January 2020, the fire blade daycare began to operate at full capacity. Then the corona pandemic hit, exceptional conditions and a couple of years of isolation.

“This is the first fall when operations are normal,” says Haaparanta.

Now even parents can go to the new rough kindergarten again.

“We have parents who haven’t been inside here at all before this fall.”

Tikkurila the new daycare building is different from the traditional flow of daycare centers. The building was designed by Parviainen architects.

The first thing that catches your eye is the large crocodile-shaped main staircase. Next to the stairs, inside the crocodile, there is also a slide that you can take down directly to the front yard.

The building is tall for a kindergarten, as it has three floors. The specialty is that each group has its own entrances. After playing in the yard, the children climb the stairs leading outside directly to their own group’s premises.

Parents also bring their children to these separate entrances every morning.

There will be a lot of climbing.

“We have a principle here that the elevator is only used in exceptional situations,” says Haaparanta.

In Vantaa many kindergartens have been carved from the same L-shaped mold.

The reform of the Day Care Act that entered into force in 1990 obliged municipalities to guarantee a day care place for all children under the age of three.

In Vantaa, this meant setting up ten identical kindergartens in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The buildings were ordered from the building factory.

Originally, the buildings were made temporary. The idea was that something new and more durable would be built in their place later.

Read more: The nostalgic photo series shows what kindergarten life was like in the childhood of the 35-year-olds: “It was a great time”

Tikkurila the new daycare has no idea about the plastic carpet aesthetics of the late 80s.

The premises are bright and the dominant color of the interior is calm light wood.

The floors are bamboo parquet, says Haaparanta.

“It’s nice on the feet, but the only problem is that it doesn’t hold moisture very well.”

Milk stains must therefore be wiped quickly. Parquet has been omitted from the canteen.

Each floor has its own nature-themed color theme. There is a yellowish prairie theme, a blue rainforest theme and a green savanna theme.

Athena Atayi, 4, and Venla Kurasto, 5, present the kindergarten canteen. Preschoolers take their own food and smaller ones are portioned.

Theme colors can be seen on surfaces, furniture and carpets covering some of the rooms. The premises have a nest-like atmosphere, even though they are open.

However, modern construction favoring open space has its downside, namely noise.

In the afternoon, most of the children are outside, and there is no information about the noise.

At best, however, there are about 30 children in the same space.

Haaparanta says that for some children, open spaces are not the best option because the noise disturbs them.

Working in small groups aims to prevent the noise from becoming unreasonable, says Haaparanta.

Attempts have also been made to reduce the intensity of the noise with padded surface solutions. There are colored carpets and thick loose soft rugs here and there.

The surfaces in savanna-themed spaces are green.

Tikkurila The daycare center is large both in terms of facilities and the number of children. There are a total of around 200 children in early childhood education there. Some of them are preschoolers and a small number are under the age of three.

There are 36 educators. In addition to them, support staff, assistants and a wide-ranging special education teacher work in the kindergarten.

According to Haaparanta, despite the labor shortage, Tikkurila’s daycare center has found relatively good staff.

“The new house attracts people. In the new house, there are no old practices as a burden,” he says.

For example, managing a daycare center is the responsibility of two people. According to Haaparanna, this creates a better framework for focusing on pedagogy.

The daycare center participates in the Provaka operating model, where the goal is positive learning in a group.

In addition, a national experiment is underway, where some children move to pre-school at the age of 5.

Part Children from Tikkurila’s daycare center spend the whole day in early childhood education, some even until 10:00 in the evening. Their parents are evening shift workers or students who often bring their children to kindergarten only in the afternoon.

The daycare’s resting areas are adaptable, and beds are taken into the space for rest periods. Some rooms also have bunk beds that can be opened from the wall.

Acoustics have been invested in, as the rooms have sound-absorbing carpet.

The days can be long, so there must be a place for relaxation.

Naps are taken in the designated rooms, where the color scheme is grey-blue. Some rooms have bunk beds that can be pulled from the wall, but beds are also placed on the floor.

Read more: Sdp and the coalition want to extend preschool education, even though there is no evidence of the benefits of the reform yet – “Learning to read earlier does not benefit anything in the long run”

Read more: Finland’s largest log-built daycare center is being completed in the capital region

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