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Early childhood education
Every child has the right to early childhood education and preschool education. Vaasa offers early childhood education in day care centres, family day care and private day care centres. There are Finnish-speaking, Swedish-speaking, bilingual and English-language day care centres in Vaasa.
There are also open day care centres in Vaasa. They offer day care, activities and clubs that are open for all and free of charge.
Early childhood education is meant for all children. You should apply for an early childhood education placement four months before you wish for your child to start in early childhood education. You can fill in the applications for day care, family day care or an open day care club electronically on the city’s website.
An income-based customer fee is charged for early childhood education.
You can get advice on applying for a place in early childhood education and information about different options from the Early Childhood Education Service Counsellor.
Preschool education is for all 6-year-olds, one year before the child starts school. Preschool education is free of charge. Preschool education is organised in day care centres in Vaasa. Preschool education is arranged in Finnish, Swedish and English. Children receive preschool education for four hours a day. If the child also requires paid early childhood education, then it will be provided at the same place as the preschool education.
The application period for preschool education is in January and teaching starts in August. You can register your child for preschool education by filling in an electronic form on the City of Vaasa’s website.
Preschool education for children with immigrant background is organised together with other preschool education. Early childhood and preschool educations support the integration of children from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Learning Finnish or Swedish is supported through preschool education and the goal is that the child can start school in general education.
There are 14 Finnish language and 5 Swedish language primary schools in Vaasa. Vaasa also has the state-run Vasa Övningsskola, as well as the privately run Vaasan Kristillinen koulu and the Vaasa Rudolf Steiner School.
Teaching in English is organised from the 1st grade onwards at Suvilahti School in Vaasa.
Basic education is free comprehensive education, and every child living permanently in Finland is required to attend school. Compulsory schooling begins in the year in which the child reaches the age of seven.
Adults can complete basic education at the Alma Adult Education Institute (Alma-opisto).
Preparatory teaching and mother tongue teaching
Preparatory teaching is given to children aged 7 to 16 who do not yet have sufficient skills in Finnish or Swedish. Preparatory education usually lasts one year. After preparatory education, the pupil continues to attend comprehensive education at their local school.
It is voluntary for an immigrant to study their own mother tongue. Two lessons a week are offered to an immigrant child for studying their mother tongue, if a group of eight pupils can be formed.
Vocational training is aimed at both young people and adults. You can apply for vocational training all year round. You can study for an upper secondary education or increase your skills in vocational training. Vocational training in Vaasa is organised by Vamia and YA – Vocational College of Ostrobothnia (Yrkesakademin i Österbotten (YA)).
YA and Vamia also organise preparatory training for basic vocational training, i.e. VALMA. The training lasts for a maximum of one academic year. YA’s VALMA training is in Swedish, Handledande utbildning för yrkesutbildning.
Upper secondary school
There are four upper secondary schools in Vaasa. Vaasan lyseon lukio offers teaching in Finnish, as well as upper secondary school for adults. Vasa gymnasium and Vasa svenska aftonläroverk teach in Swedish. The first bilingual upper secondary school campus in Finland operates in Vaasa: Vaasan lyseon lukio and Vasa gymnasium operate under the same roof. Students can choose courses across language boundaries. At Vasa övningsskola gymnasium you can study in Swedish or on the IB line in English.
Liberal adult education
Adult education centres and folk high schools provide liberal adult education.
Several folk high schools will, as of 1.8.2021 organise liberal adult education aimed at pupils that are of compulsory education age, as an opportunity to complete the expanding compulsory education. This education is based on the principles of the national curriculum.
The Christian folk high school (Evangeliska Folkhögskolan) offers the liberal adult education aimed at pupils that are of compulsory education age in Swedish.
Vaasa is one of Finland’s largest student cities in terms of its student population. Vaasa also has the most beautiful campus in Finland by the sea. There are six universities in Vaasa where you can complete degrees in Finnish, Swedish and English.