What is it about?

Children's right to participation is a very important value in modern early childhood education and care (ECEC). Our analysis of the recent curriculum in Finland shows three different ways of describing children’s right to participate: social, political and learning dimensions on participation. Moreover, each dimension contained two poles, oscillating between children’s autonomy and interdependence.

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Why is it important?

Our findings show that the curriculum (and other policy documents) does not emphasise the rights in itself, as a declaration, but more the fabric of values that connects children’s rights to the everyday ECEC activities. It is therefore important to understand children’s rights to participate in as a broad concept with diverse expressions. This will help professionals working within ECEC to overcome a certain gap between theory and practice.


Writing this article with my co-author was a great pleasure that gave me many insights with regard to the importance of children's right to participation in ECEC.

Jan-Erik Mansikka
University of helsinki

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Children’s Right to Participation in Early Childhood Education and Care: An Analysis in Finnish Policy Documents, The International Journal of Children s Rights, February 2022, Brill,
DOI: 10.1163/15718182-30010009.
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