FSD2168 Finnish Local Government 2004: Child Day Care 2003: Day Nurseries

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  • Ikola-Norrbacka, Rinna (University of Vaasa. Department of Public Management)


child day care, child-minders, child-minding, children, community development, day nurseries, local community facilities, local government, local government officers, local government policy, local government services, pre-primary education, pre-primary schools, preschool children, public services, social systems, subcontracting

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The survey focused on the practicalities, service provision, administration, and development of child day care services in Finnish municipalities. Municipal day nurseries mind children aged under seven. The respondents were managers of either municipal or private day nurseries. Similar surveys were carried out in 1997, 1999 and 2003, from the viewpoints of day nursery managers, municipal service directors and child-minders.

The respondents were asked how many children there were in their day care centres, and how the children were divided in terms of the type of day care (e.g. full day care, sessional day care). The number of employees in the day nurseries and their tasks were queried, as well as the number of employees hired with the help of employment subsidies In addition, the capacity and utilisation rate of municipal day care places were studied. The respondents were also asked whether the nurseries provided any day care service based on educational philosophies, such as Steiner education. Some questions pertained to the current ownership and opening hours of the day nurseries. Opinions on day care facilities were charted, as well as how special needs provision (e.g. for physically disabled children) was taken into account in selecting the day nursery staff. The respondents were also asked how many children received free day care, and how many paid the highest fees.

In relation to service provision, the respondents were asked about competitive tendering, their satisfaction with services, and which body decided on matters such as using outsourced services. Further questions covered management and decision-making on child day care in the municipality. The respondents were also asked to assess the importance of different tasks and leadership roles in their work, and whether the significance of them had changed over the past few years. Opinions on the quality and importance of municipal day care and the use of client surveys were also examined. Finally, the development of day care services since 1999, the present state, and development policies for the future were surveyed.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, year of birth, mother tongue, job title, work experience, level of education, and the location of the job.

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