Reader opinion We set up a unit of 20 employees to make up for the sudden staff shortage in kindergartens

Helsinki is investing in the early childhood education sector in several ways.

Anni Burman wrote (HS Opinion 2.2.) how the skills of early childhood education workers are reflected in the well-being, learning and equality of children and should not be compromised. Burman said that his child’s early childhood education in Helsinki has been excellent. We warmly thank you for your feedback.

In his writing, Burma expressed concern about the availability of qualified workers. The availability of qualified employees has been challenging not only in Helsinki but also nationwide for a long time. High-quality early childhood education needs skilled personnel, and several measures will be taken this year in the education and training sector in Helsinki to promote this issue. The corona period has naturally brought its own challenge to the situation due to sick leave, for which we need temporary deputies during this exceptional period. Temporary deputies work as part of a team with our permanent employees and invest in the orientation of temporary deputies.

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At the beginning of the year, we set up a 20-employee unit for early childhood education in Helsinki, whose trained professionals are agile in filling the staff shortage where help is suddenly needed most. This way of working is needed even after the Corona period. In addition, a two-day orientation will be provided for all new full-time teachers and nannies before starting work in a group of children.

We have also added management resources to large units. A new permanent teacher will be paid a fee of € 2,000, and with a one-off bonus, we will be able to reward employees with a low threshold throughout the year. We consult staff on the staffing situation in collaborative forums in all early childhood education areas, where future ideas are discussed and utilized where possible.

Although the staffing situation is sometimes difficult in some day care centers, everyday life is going well in 348 day care centers in the city of Helsinki. In a customer experience survey conducted in 2020, we received an overall rating of 8.9. We have a plethora of professional, permanent staff who focus on the joy of the child, the joy of learning, play and exploring together. We work every day to ensure high-quality early childhood education for Helsinki-based children in our Finnish- and Swedish-language day care centers, family day care centers and playgrounds. We greatly appreciate the views and ideas of the staff and guardians, as well as the open discussion to ensure a quality early childhood education and a good everyday life for every child.

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Ulla Lehtonen

director of early childhood education va.

Niclas Grönholm

Director of the Swedish-language service entity

City of Helsinki

The reader’s opinions are the speeches written by HS’s readers, selected and delivered by HS’s editorial staff. You can leave a comment or read the principles of writing at www.hs.fi/kirjtamielipidekirjoitus/.

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