Art education in early childhood
Traditionally, art education in early childhood is geared towards children below school-age, in Finland children under seven years of age, who are in municipal or private day care or at preschool. Some cities and communities have drawn up a cultural early education plan where experiencing and taking part of art and culture are included in the various subdomains of early education before school-age. Kindergartens have appointed culture coordinators with the task of motivating early education staff in implementing cultural education. The cultural centres for children support early education actors to systematically develop cultural education. All around Finland, the cultural centres for children carry out art education together with various cooperation partners, both as separate workshops and as long-term entities.
The strengthening of cultural activities for babies since the turn of the millennium has increased the forms of activities and cooperation models in order to support the well-being of children and families. Children’s culture actors cooperate actively with child health clinics, for instance. The child health clinic is a free-of-charge welfare service which monitors children’s growth, health and well-being up to their school-age. In Finland, health clinics serve pregnant women, expecting families and children below school-age as well as their families.