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My Experience as a Mother in Finland: Embracing the Educare Model

Raising children while balancing a career is a challenge many mothers face. As a working mother with two children in Finland, I initially had concerns about how I could ensure they received the care and attention they needed while I was at work. However, my worries were quickly alleviated when I discovered the Päivakoti, or daycare/home care, system in Finland.

The first time I visited a Päivakoti, I was struck by the environment. It was a place that exuded warmth, safety, and joy. The caregivers welcomed us with open arms, and I could see the genuine affection they had for the children. This wasn’t just a daycare center; it was a second home for my kids, a place where they could feel secure and loved.

The Educare model is a comprehensive early childhood education approach that combines education and care. This model is based on the understanding that learning and development are deeply intertwined and cannot be separated. It emphasizes the importance of providing a nurturing and stimulating environment where children can develop holistically.

Key components of the Educare model include:

  • Holistic Development: Focusing on the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development of children. The goal is to foster well-rounded individuals who are ready to face the challenges of life.

  • Child-Centered Approach: Prioritizing the needs and interests of the child. Activities and curricula are designed to be engaging and relevant to the children’s lives.

  • Integrated Learning: Combining education and care seamlessly. Learning occurs through play, exploration, and everyday interactions, rather than through formal instruction alone.

  • Family Engagement: Encouraging active involvement of parents and families in the child’s learning process. This helps create a strong support system for the child’s development.

  • Professional Development: Ensuring that caregivers and educators are well-trained and continuously improving their skills to provide children the best care and education.

One of the most reassuring aspects of the Päivakoti was the caregivers. They were incredibly kind and loving, treating each child with the care and attention they would give their own. The caregivers made sure that every child felt valued and nurtured. They provided not just physical care but also emotional support, creating a nurturing environment where my children could thrive.

Beyond the basic care, the Päivakoti played a crucial role in my children’s development. The caregivers focused on teaching the necessary social, personal, and life skills essential for daily life. They encouraged children to interact, share, and build friendships, fostering their social skills. They also guided them in personal responsibilities, such as tidying up after themselves and developing good hygiene habits.

Knowing that my children were in such capable hands brought me immense relief. I could go to work without the constant worry of how my kids were doing. I knew they were in a safe place, surrounded by people who genuinely cared for them. This peace of mind allowed me to focus on my job, knowing that my children were happy and well-cared for.

The Educare model in Finland, epitomized by the Päivakoti system, has been a blessing for our family. It provided a seamless blend of care and education, ensuring that my children grew up in a supportive and enriching environment. As a working mother, I am grateful for the safe, secure, and loving care my children received, which helped them develop into well-rounded individuals. The experience has been nothing short of wonderful, and it has made all the difference in our lives.

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