In the 1860's Uno Cygnaeus brought the concept of kindergarten to Finland. In the 1970s, the government passed the Child Day-Care Act, which decreed that all day-care centers provide supervision by registered child-care providers.
The Finnish Ministry of Education sees preschool as a part of the early childhood education process as assisting in the goal of equal educational opportunities for all. Currently 96% of children partake in the preschool system. The curriculum is prescribed at the national level but carried out at the municipal level.
A study in the 1970s by the Ministry of Education and that for Social Affairs and Health allowed for a pre-class consisting of six-year-olds to begin the first year of comprehensive school, if seen relevant by the local council. The transitional year for six-year-olds provides the strong foundation for high-quality education for the Finnish people. In the 1990s, it became a goal for all six-year-olds to have the right to attend preschool education. Today, six-year-olds have the right to free schooling, under the organization of the municipalities. School for six-year-olds takes place in either schools or day care centers. This way, students have preparation before basic education. All day care teachers have university training.
Since 2001, the Basic Education Act has administered the provision of preschool education, which is an obligation of the local authorities and a right for families.