More on values and goals
The key aims of Finnish ECEC and pre-primary education include promoting social justice, creating preconditions for open democracy and wellbeing, and preventing children's social exclusion. Bullying, violence, racism or other types of discrimination are not acceptable in any form or by anyone in early education.
The child's best interest
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child lays the legal foundation for early education and contains general principles that stress the child’s best interest as the primary consideration, along with a child’s right to wellbeing, care and protection; a child’s right to culture, play and the arts; consideration of a child’s views as well as the requirement of fair and equal treatment and the prohibition of discrimination against children.
Cultural values of truth, goodness, beauty, justice and peace
Early education support children's growth as human beings, and this aim is described especially through cultural values, which include striving for truth, goodness, beauty, justice and peace. Cultural values are manifested in our attitudes towards ourselves, other people, the environment and information, in the ways we act and in our willingness to do what is right. These are issues in which children need support and individual guidance.
Equity, equality and diversity
In addition to the ones listed above, key values of early childhood education and care include equity, equality and diversity. In early childhood education and care, all children must be guaranteed equitable opportunities to develop their skills and make choices independently of the reasons associated with, for instance, gender, origin, cultural background or other reasons related to the person. The preconditions for cooperation with families based on trust, respect and openness also include recognizing and acknowledging the diversity of families.