Day Care and Schools

Day care

Municipalities and private day care centres provide day care, also called early childhood education and care. You can apply for a place in a day care centre (päiväkoti), group family day care (ryhmäperhepäivähoito) or family day care (perhepäivähoito). Family day care involves a care provider looking after the children in his or her own home.

In Finland, all children under school age are entitled to day care arranged by the municipality after the end of their parents’ maternity and paternity leave. In Kouvola, early childhood education is provided in Finnish and in one kindergarten in Swedish.

Children must attend preschool education or other similar activities for one year before compulsory education begins. Children normally enter preschool education at the age of six and comprehensive school at the age of seven.

Learning by playing

Early childhood education in Finland emphasizes learning by playing. Developing social skills is equally important. Children receive a daily breakfast, warm lunch and afternoon snack as part of the service. Younger children normally take a short nap in the afternoon. Children starting in a public day care centre usually have an introductory period in which their parents or guardians can accompany them as they get to know the new routine. Parents or guardians can use this opportunity to see for themselves how things work and ask questions. Some of the city’s day care centres offer evening or round-the-clock care. This is ideal for parents and guardians who work in the evenings or do shift work.

Day Care Service Instructors (All email addresses:

Jaana Sihvola
Tel. 020 615 4890 (City centre)
Anu Peltola
Tel. 020 615 5400 (Kuusankoski, Jaala and Valkeala areas)
Annu Mäki-Patola
Tel. 020 615 5542 (Myllykoski, Inkeroinen, Koria, Elimäki areas)

School starts at age 7

Children start comprehensive school in the year they turn seven. The City of Kouvola assigns children to their local public school (lähikoulu) the year before their comprehensive schooling is set to begin. The city sends out an information package with enrollment information in the spring before school begins.

Children, who have arrived in Kouvola from abroad, and are residents of the city, are eligible for a period of preparatory education to ease their transition into the Finnish school system. This period takes from six months to a year. The preparatory education includes language instruction, and depending on the child’s age and needs, extra support from a staff of education professionals. Preparatory education takes place in two schools in Kouvola: Mansikkamäki and Vahtero.

School supplies provided

Primary schools for children (grades 1 through 6) provide all of the necessary school supplies and a warm and nutritious daily lunch to students free of charge. All that families need to supply is a rucksack for books, a pencil case and appropriate clothes for outdoor and indoor exercise.

After sixth grade, children continue on to lower secondary school or grades 7 through 9. Before they finish their three years of lower secondary school, students in Finland must decide whether they wish to continue on to general upper secondary school or vocational school.

School Contact information:

Sari Keskinen
Account Manager
Tel. 040 489 9340

See locations of schools in Kouvola

Youth Services

Youth Services organize activities for leisure time, f.ex. events and cultural workshops. Excursions and camps are organized during school holidays. We have 10 Youth Centres around the town, two of them in the centre; NuPa and Lehdokin SporttiTalo. Multicultural youth work is part of our daily work in Kouvola. The activities are open to everyone. Contact information: Youth Counselor Virpi Kärkäs Tel. 020 615 8652 Email: virpi.karkas(at)

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