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Supervision of early childhood education and care – division of labour with Regional State Administrative Agencies
Valvira is responsible for the supervision of early childhood education and care on a national level and Regional State Administrative Agencies for overseeing operators in their respective regions. Valvira’s role is especially important in matters that are important in principle or have far-reaching consequences or affect the area of operation of several Regional State Administrative Agencies or the entire country. Valvira also takes over matters that the Regional State Administrative Agency is disqualified to process. Valvira directs the work of Regional State Administrative Agencies with a view to harmonising their operating principles, procedures and decision-making practices. The supervisory authorities promote the safety and quality of early childhood education and care primarily by giving guidance and advice to early childhood education and care providers and by tracking their progress. Each local authority is responsible for safeguarding its residents’ basic rights, which includes ensuring the availability and provision of early childhood education and care services.
Proactive and reactive supervision
The authorities carry out both proactive and reactive supervision. Proactive supervision entails, for example, self-monitoring and systematic oversight, registration, guidance, advice and communication. Reactive supervision is based on complaints, non-conformance reports and other correspondence or information received from other sources (such as the media, statistics and official reports). The different forms of supervision complement each other. Reactive supervision always includes providing advice, and information about the outcomes and methods of reactive supervision can be used in proactive supervision.
Registration of private early childhood education and care providers
Private providers of early childhood education and care services must file a written notice before they launch their service or if the nature of their service changes substantially. The competent authority is the early childhood education and care department of the joint municipal authority in which the service provider operates. The Regional State Administrative Agency registers the service provider and its establishments if they satisfy the conditions laid down in the Finnish Act on Early Childhood Education and Care. Valvira and Regional State Administrative Agencies keep a database of private early childhood education and care service providers (Valveri). Advice on the notification and registration process is available from Regional State Administrative Agencies.