We are aware of the importance of support for the whole family during a move overseas, particularly for children. Fortunately, Finland is one of the best places in the world to be a child, with the country ranked third in the KidsRights Index 2020 due to its healthcare, education system and safety.

Here in Southwest Finland, we have it all – top day care for small children, excellent schools for pupils and high-end universities for students. Turku also participates in UNICEF Finland’s Child Friendly Municipality initiative and is an excellent place to raise a family.

The Finnish Education System

Education is one of Finland’s national strengths, and the education system here is of a high quality. Finland is consistently ranked highly in international education league tables, such as PISA.

Children in Finland attend school from ages 6-18, with the majority of students continuing to higher education. Preschool education (ages 6-7), comprehensive education (ages 7-15) and upper secondary education (ages 15-18) are free of charge.

International children in the Finnish education system will be supported to learn Finnish or Swedish as a second language, and it is often possible to take certain classes in their native language. Specific teaching plans for individuals are coordinated between the family and the school. The City of Turku website has more information about multicultural education options.

In our region, education and industry expertise come together to create the STEAM Turku path, which aims to inspire learners to face the challenges of the future by developing new ways of teaching Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Take a look at some of our STEAM Turku projects on the City website.

Early Childhood Education

Children under school age are eligible for early childhood education, usually at a local day care centre. The cost of day care is subsidised by the state, and the fee depends on your household income. Municipal day care centres have a working language of Finnish or Swedish, although there are private day care centres that teach in other languages.

The City of Turku website explains the different types of day care options, as well as the application process.

Family Services

The City of Turku also offers various services for families with children, including support with the birth of child, raising children or during times of family crisis. These services aim to support safe relationships between family members, as well as maintaining the independence of the family.

Useful Links

  • InfoFinland – further information about family services
  • City of Turku – regional daycare and education information
  • Turku International School – an institution covering comprehensive and upper secondary education, where the primary teaching language is English