Kazanchis, Infront of Meles Zenawi Foundation

Early Childhood Education and Care

We infuse the International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC) into the Finnish Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) to best meet the needs of our KG students. The IEYC is a research-based curriculum recognizing global best practices in early childhood and the developmental needs of KG students. The IEYC supports key areas of learning through holistic enquiry and play-based approaches with ‘subjects’ being organized into four main strands. The four main strands are summarized below.
IEYC Learning Strand 1: Independence and Interdependence

This strand focuses on developing personal, social, and emotional development. The strand links to the IEYC Personal Goals and the IEYC International Dimension. This strand enables children to see themselves as unique individuals with a cultural heritage. It supports children in building positive relationships and in responding to their own and others’ feelings. It also encourages them to approach tasks with increasing confidence and independence.


IEYC Learning Strand 2: Communicating

This strand focuses on developing a broad range of communication skills including language development, early literacy, early mathematics, ICT and computing, expressive arts, and creativity. This Learning Strand encompasses early literacy and early mathematics. However, whilst some IEYC tasks may support the development of early reading skills, each setting can still have its own methods and policies for teaching reading. At Kelem have introduced the phonics scheme called Letters and Sounds which is a world-renowned scheme used to teach early reading skills in a fun and play-based manner. 

Phonics Guidelines for parents

IEYC Learning Strand 3: Enquiring

This strand focuses on developing the skills of inquiry through exploring people and the world. It will support children in understanding the similarities and differences in people, living things, the environment, and materials. Children will be encouraged to investigate, pose questions, and explore ideas.


IEYC Learning Strand 4: Healthy Living and Physical Well-Being

This strand focuses on developing a positive attitude to health, self-care, and physical activity. Children will know about the importance of healthy eating and physical activity. They will learn how to take care of basic hygiene and personal needs. They will understand how to keep themselves safe. They will demonstrate control, coordination, and increasing confidence in a range of physical activities. This strand covers child development and the importance of nurturing wellbeing in children. The Finnish Core Curriculum for ECEC is based on learning according to how children develop and learn in interaction with other people and the immediate environment. The conception of learning is also based on a view of the child’s active agency. Children are naturally curious and wish to learn new things and revise and repeat what they have learned. Learning is holistic and occurs everywhere. It combines knowledge, skills, actions, emotions, sensory perceptions, bodily experiences, language, and thinking. Learning occurs when children observe and examine their surroundings and they imitate the actions of others. 


The Finnish ECEC

Children’s previous experiences and their interests and competencies are the starting point for learning. It is important that new knowledge and skills learned by children are connected to their developing competencies as well as the world they experience and their cultural backgrounds. Children learn best when they are feeling well and secure. Positive emotional experiences and interactive relationships promote learning. The peer group and the experience of belonging to a group are key to the child’s learning and participation. Children are entitled to the support and guidance of the teacher for their learning. Interesting, goal-oriented, and suitable challenging activities inspire the children to learn more. Each child is entitled to gain experiences of success and joy in his/ her actions and of himself/herself as a learner.


Play is significant for the learning of children of early childhood education and care age. It motivates the children and brings joy while allowing the children to learn many skills and acquire knowledge. In ECEC, it is necessary to understand the intrinsic value of play for the children as well as the pedagogical significance of play in learning and children’s holistic growth and well-being.

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