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Kindergarten Teachers Union in Finland (LTOL)

The Kindergarten Teachers Union of Finland is a professional organisation of early childhood education. We promote the recognition of our kindergarten teachers and early childhood education, and also support children’s rights.

Members of the Kindergarten Teachers Union are working as kindergarten teachers, special education kindergarten teachers, day-care center directors, guided family day-care directors, day-care inspectors and other professionals in the field of early childhood education.

The Kindergarten Teachers Union in Finland (LTOL) is a trade union with over 14 000 members, and growing. We are part of the Trade Union of Education in Finland (OAJ). OAJ is an interest organisation for all teachers with over 120 000 members. Both LTOL and OAJ are part of an umbrella organization AKAVA, the Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland.

Collective bargaining is in the hands of AKAVA and Public Sector Negotiating Commission (JUKO). OAJ also negotiates collective agreements concerning private day-care centers.

Members are served by local shop stewards, special advisers and officials of regional associations and the offices of the LTOL and OAJ. Responsibility for looking after kindergarten teachers interests are divided between OAJ and LTOL. OAJ is responsible for salaries- and employment-related issues and LTOL professional matters.

Kindergarten Teachers Union gathers together all the kindergarten teacher Associations in Finland. LTOL have members approximately in 250 associations, which are mainly local teacher associations. At the moment (2016) there are 30 kindergarten teacher associations, of which five of them are Swedish-speaking, and two pedagogical associations. In many municipalities and cities, kindergarten teachers don’t have their own associations but they are part of the local teachers association.

Administration of Kindergarten Teachers Union in Finland

The highest decision maker is the Kindergarten Teachers Union Council. The council is elected for four years at the time and has 45 members from all over Finland. The annual Council meetings are held in spring and autumn. Every four years the Council elects the President of the Kindergarten Teachers Union, deputy president, chairperson and the deputy chairperson of the Council.

The Union board has 14 members including the President and deputy president of the Union. The kindergarten teacher associations nominates the representatives for the board, and Council accepts the nominees to the board. The Executive Board meet once a month.

Currently, the President of the Kindergarten Teachers Union of Finland on term 2014-2018 is Anitta Pakanen from Oulu.

History of the Kindergarten Teachers Union in a nutshell

The Kindergarten Teachers Union of Finland was founded in January 1919, with about 100 participants from all over Finland. The meeting decided rules for the association. The first paragraph stated that “the meaning of Kindergarten Teachers Union in Finland is to progress the development of kindergarten work and enhance the meaning of kindergarten teacher’s profession in society, economically and developmental issues. First president of the Kindergarten Teachers Union was Elisabeth Alander.

Mission, values and vision


The Kindergarten Teachers Union and kindergarten teachers are the specialists of early childhood education.


Strong professional identity
The Kindergarten Teachers Union is a strong specialist of early childhood education. A Kindergarten teacher is the best pedagogical expert for early childhood education.

The Kindergarten Teachers Union is equal to all its members.
Every kindergarten teacher commits to honor and support equality at work and in public.

The Kindergarten Teachers Union and all its members are acting as strong prominent figure within society.
All our members have the courage to take the role of an early childhood education specialist.

The Kindergarten Teachers Union is interacting with its members, finding solutions on the challenges in ECEC and supporting to create new solutions proactively.
A Kindergarten teacher is able to notice the challenges in future by modifying the substance and methods used in ECEC.


Early childhood education and kindergarten teachers have strong status in society.

Contact information

LTOL office is based in Itä-Pasila Akava-talo, Kellosilta 7 00520 Helsinki.
In general matters you can send E-mail here.

President of Kindergarten Teachers Union
Anitta Pakanen
+358 40 540 8633
E-mail anitta.pakanen@lastentarha.fi

Organisation Chief
Harri Myllynen
+358 50 550 6254
E-mail harri.myllynen@lastentarha.fi

Managing editor and Information Officer
Rille Repo
+358 40 527 3205
E-mail rille.repo@lastentarha.fi

Communication Advisor of ECE
Jaana Lahdenperä-Laine
+358 50 320 2922
E-mail jaana.lahdenpera-laine@lastentarha.fi

Membership benefits

Members of LTOL receive various benefits regarding insurance, holiday and hotel benefits and certain purchases. Members also belong to an unemployment insurance fund. Also, LTOL arranges organisational and professional training for its members.
As a member benefit, you will receive our professional magazine Lastentarha. This has been published since 1937. In Lastentarha you can find articles and reports about early education genre and professionals, briefs about latest studies, reviews about children music genre and what’s going on in the field of ECEC in general.

More information about benefits:
OAJ membership is worth while

How to join LTOL

If you have completed a Bachelor Degree of Education that gives you the qualification of kindergarten teacher you can join LTOL. Also, people who have graduated from university of applied sciences and studied 60 credit early childhood education studies (sosionomi AMK) have the right to work as a kindergarten teacher can also join.

All membership applications should be addressed to local associations and/or kindergarten teachers’ associations.

You can join here!

More information about ECE

What would you do with two billion euros?

The interest organisation for teachers

The Confederation of Unions for Academic Professionals in Finland

Public Sector Negotiating Commission

Finnish National board of education
Education policy
Early childhood education and care

Ministry of Education and Culture
Education system in Finland
Early childhood education and care in Finland

Other links:
Education International
Nordic Teacher´Council
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD / Finland
Unemployment fund for teachers
Local government employers, KT