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Government overturns daycare limits

On Friday parliament approved a bill to remove limits on the rights to daycare.

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Finnish children below school age have the right to a full-time spot at a daycare centre. Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle

Finland’s restrictions on the right for children to attend early years education have been removed following a vote in parliament on Friday.

In 2016 the last government had limited the right to daycare and early years education for children whose parents were not in full-time work.

The children of parents who were unemployed or on maternity leave to look after other children were restricted to 20 hours a week at public sector daycare centres.

Some municipalities maintained full-time provision for those children regardless, but paid the cost out of their own budgets.

Friday’s decision restores central government funding for that service, and requires municipalities who enforced the restrictions to allow all children a full-time spot in public-sector daycare if they want it.

Some 249 municipalities had enforced the restrictions at some point.

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