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What to do if you are dissatisfied with the safety or quality of early childhood education and care services
Filing an objection
If you are dissatisfied with the safety or quality of an early childhood education and care service, you should first approach the service provider in question or the relevant department of your municipality. Often the quickest way to address concerns is to discuss them with the early childhood education and care service provider’s staff or to contact the organisation’s director.
If this does not resolve the issue, you can file an objection with the early childhood education and care service provider’s director or representative or the early childhood education and care officer of municipality (section 54 of the Act on Early Childhood Education and Care). Objections can be filed by writing an informal letter. The letter must include a detailed description of your concerns. The recipient must respond within a reasonable period of time (usually within one to four weeks) and explain how the service provider in question has investigated the issue and what steps, if any, have been taken as a result. A response to an objection cannot be appealed.
Filing an objection does not prevent you from also pursuing the matter by other means or from complaining to the competent supervisory authority. The municipal ombudsman for social service can help you to file an objection if necessary and advise you on the application of the Act on Early Childhood Education and Care.
Once you have filed your objection, wait patiently for the reply before taking other steps, as the response may resolve the issue. If you are not satisfied with the response, you can file a formal complaint with the competent supervisory authority (Regional State Administrative Agency, avi.fi, or Valvira). If you file a formal complaint without having first filed an objection, the competent supervisory authority may decide to file an objection with the service provider in question. You will be notified if this happens.
Filing a complaint with the competent Regional State Administrative Agency or Valvira
Anyone can file a complaint about unlawful or negligent conduct by public authorities. An administrative complaint can also be filed concerning the provision of a service for which a public authority is responsible, even if the service has been outsourced to a private service provider, such as a private preschool. Complaints are handled by the competent supervisory authority (Regional State Administrative Agency or Valvira).
Complaints must be made in writing, except where the competent supervisory authority agrees to receive the complaint verbally. Instructions for filing complaints with Regional State Administrative Agencies are available from your Regional State Administrative Agency. Valvira has an online complaints procedure. You need to first log into the complaints portal using your online banking credentials, a mobile certificate or a Katso ID. The portal walks you through the procedure to ensure that you provide all the information that is necessary to deal with your complaint. You can also file your complaint using the form below or by writing an informal letter, as long as you include all the information mentioned in the form.
Your complaint must explain why you believe that the service provider in question has failed in its obligations and specify the time of the incident. Cases that are more than two years old are only processed in special circumstances.
What happens after you have filed your complaint
The competent supervisory authority reviews your complaint and decides whether the reported non-conformance or failure should be investigated in more detail. The supervisory authority may reject your complaint if you have not included all the information they need to investigate the matter. You will be notified if the supervisory authority decides not to take the matter further. If you filed your complaint with Valvira and Valvira is not competent to deal with the complaint, the case will be transferred to the competent authority. You will be notified if this happens.
The complaints procedure is not designed for appealing or overturning decisions made by courts of law or other public authorities. The complaints procedure also cannot be used to seek monetary compensation.