By: Liberty Paananen.
I previously wrote about Finnish childcare and much of the admiration I have for the current system that exists. As it turns out, I’m not alone in my belief that other countries and communities across the globe can learn a lot from this Finnish model of early childhood education.
A company that was founded on this exact ethos is FinlandWay and, it seems, they are becoming more and more successful in their mission. The concept and company, co-founded by Noora Laitio and Dr Jonna Kangas aims to provide: “the best of quality education from Finland to thousands of children, families and educators worldwide”. Currently, FinlandWay operates on four continents, with five different languages and, their expansion plans will see FinlandWay in a further three continents later this year.
Together, the founders hold impressive CV’s and many professional accolades. Laitio’s career in economics has spanned worldwide, working for IFC World Bank Group and alongside the UN, the World Economic Forum, the European Commission, Cambridge University and other institutions. Whilst, Kangas is a researcher and lecturer at The University of Helsinki, an internationally published author of play-based pedagogy and sits on the Early Education Association of Finland Board. Naturally, since conception, Laitio and Kangas have expanded the team that helps them to execute their mission successfully.
“Beyond the founders, our team consists of passionate education experts and growth market specialists, (as) it is only with our teamwork that our dream is becoming a reality!” – Noora Laity
On, 23rdApril 2019, Laitio confirmed a partnership between FinlandWay and The Bendabdallah Private School Group based in Marrakech, Morocco. A ground breaking deal to introduce and deliver Finnish play-based teaching methods to children between the ages of 1 and 6. This deal is the first of its kind in Africa and, comes as FinlandWay’s partnership in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) launches its soft opening in May, ready to welcome students from August onwards.
As an immigrant to Finland and, as a parent; I see many benefits of the Finnish early childhood and education care system first hand. Arguably, Finns themselves take for granted some of these benefits which are absent in childcare systems elsewhere, like, for example, the provision of free day care and school meals. However, is clear that with FinlandWay, Laitio and Kangas have not only identified the importance and many benefits of Finnish early childhood education methods but, are now successfully expanding the franchising and licensing of these fundamental and life changing methodologies.
FinlandWay takes this ethos a step further by promoting an economically positive stance. By, enabling and supporting schools to use local teachers to deliver Finnish education excellence; they simultaneously develop the education of those receiving it and, the ones delivering it.
Whilst the globe shrinks and the world advances with an abundance of technological discoveries, it seems to me that sharing ideas, systems and philosophies relating to education, infrastructure and ultimately the minds and physical well-being of future generations is certainly not a bad idea. Especially when these systems yield such positive results.
You can read more about FinlandWay on their website: www.finlandwayschools.com