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Good day makers at daycare

Pilke provides early childhood education and care in almost 200 private daycare centres and pre-schools around Finland. Our activities are highly versatile, and we develop them on a constant basis. In addition, our daycare centres offer the opportunity to choose from various learning orientations.

Pilke Daycare Centres’ employees form a community of over 2,000 early childhood education and childcare professionals who strive for providing children with a good day, every day.

As an employer, we aim to take good care of our employees: we offer an active, encouraging and motivational work community as well as competitive employee benefits. Get to know Pilke as an employer and read more about working at Pilke’s daycare centres.

Creative, independent and autonomous work

At Pilke, the daycare centre tasks are assigned among early childhood educators, daycare assistants and managers so that everyone has time to focus on performing their job to the best of their abilities. Here, you can read Pilke employees’ career stories that give accounts on working at Pilke’s daycare centres.

We value working together and developing our activities. Pilke employees have the opportunity to influence their work, and no one is left alone with their responsible and demanding duties. Pilke fosters an open, tolerant atmosphere and a work culture based on sparring. We constantly endeavour to improve our working conditions with innovative solutions. Pilke’s versatile early childhood education activities provide the opportunity to choose from various learning orientations to support children’s strengths and interests. Each unit’s orientation is recorded in the unit’s early childhood education and care curriculum, and it is implemented in various ways in the daycare centre’s everyday operation. Pilke units’ orientations include languages, science, nature, sports, music as well as art and expression. We provide our employees with further training focusing on these orientations.

All of our activities comply with the same ECEC curricula objectives, quality standards and educational requirements that are complied with by municipal daycares and pre-schools. In addition to a competitive salary, we offer every employee excellent employee benefits and opportunities for further education.

I have worked at Pilke for nearly six years. Pilke employed me as an early childhood education teacher at the music-oriented daycare centre Nummenharju directly after graduation. Throughout my career, Pilke has valued my skills and supported me in the face of difficulties. I’ve had the opportunities to test my wings as both deputy manager and daycare centre manager. Through various work groups, I’ve had the chance to influence Pilke’s high-quality early childhood education and care.

I have participated in incredibly fruitful trainings and had the opportunity to train others too. I have represented Pilke in various trade fairs and other events. In addition, I’ve had the privilege to work with amazing, highly professional early childhood educators as a manager, early childhood education teacher and mentor. All of my colleagues have taught me something valuable.

Pilke has enabled me to grow from a novice to a confident professional. Last autumn, I was rewarded for my good work. Thank you Pilke for placing trust in my skills, for challenging me and for helping me develop myself as a professional!

Minna Puusniekka, Early Childhood Education Teacher, Pilke Daycare Centres

A peek into the daily life in high-quality early childhood education

Every day, Pilke’s early childhood education and care professionals experience thousands of different daily situations with colleagues, children and families. It is impossible to describe or highlight all of them at the same time.

However, our employees value communality, daily support and sparring. They have a strong will to succeed and commit themselves. Via the link below, you will find accounts on our good day makers’ experiences on their job. We believe that these articles shed light on the daily life in Pilke’s early childhood education, our solid experience and the significance of our work – the ingredients of a good day.

Pilke’s pedagogy and concept of learning

The activities of Pilke daycare centres are always based on the Act on Early Childhood Education and Care (540/2018) and the National Core Curriculum for Early Childhood Education and Care. In addition, our work is guided by municipal early childhood education and care curricula.

What is private daycare like? Familiarise yourself with the sector and its myths.

The framework of Pilke’s early childhood education and care:

High-quality interaction

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High-quality interaction involves genuine and active attendance as well as consideration of the children’s emotions and ideas. It enables safe interaction between the child, the educators and the parents. Our positive and encouraging personnel support the development of each child’s compassion, enthusiasm and participation. Our atmosphere of trust and openness lays the foundation for communal well-being and the child’s learning.

Participation

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The child’s participation in early childhood education means their opportunity to be heard and take part in decisions that affect their life and well-being. The child is provided with experiences of having sufficient skills, a meaningful role and responsibility in the community. In practice, this means that the child and their parents are engaged in both planning the early childhood education curriculum and everyday activities

Small group activities

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We engage in small group activities where children form groups based on pedagogical principles. Small groups enable goal-oriented support for the child’s growth, development and learning in various everyday situations. This allows us to encounter the child and consider their needs individually to ensure high-quality interaction. Small groups enable high-quality learning experiences by calming and clarifying the activities.

Flexible learning environments

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Our flexible and communal learning environments are adapted based on pedagogical principles to enable children to play and exercise in small groups. For example, we have music and sports rooms, ateliers for handicrafts, play facilities that can be adapted based on the children’s wishes as well as staggered mealtimes at the canteen. The learning environment is developed to meet each child’s growth and learning objectives.

We consider children active individuals and give them the opportunity to participate in designing and building their learning environments. Our personnel support and encourage children to create versatile, inspiring learning environments.

Everyday pedagogy

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Most of the learning of children under school age takes place in play or everyday activities. Our educators encounter each child as an individual in play and various daily situations to activate and encourage them to explore and act creatively in the changing learning environments. We make use of every daily situation in learning. Important moments include dressing and mealtimes, for example. Our educators are keen to utilise such situations as learning opportunities. The everyday learning situations are complemented with various instructed activities.

Project work

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The content of our activities is based on the children’s interests which we integrate into the learning entities and areas based on the national Core Curriculum for Early Childhood Education and Care. We combine the children’s interests into themes that we implement through projects, ensuring that each child has the opportunity to participate. As the projects progress, ideas are given new meanings and forms. Together with the children, we compile observations, questions, opinions and events by documenting.

Pedagogical documentation

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Pedagogical documentation provides information on the child’s life, development, ideas and interests. Information on each child’s learning and needs as well as the child group’s operation is collected through versatile, concrete methods. The content of activities is designed and developed based on the educators’ and children’s observations and documents, such as photos and drawings. We support pedagogic documentation with tablet computers, for example. Pedagogic documentation sheds light on what we have done, why and which learning goals were achieved

At Pilke Daycare Centres, each child is considered an active knowledge builder who selects and interprets information independently. The child’s active participation is a crucial part of the learning process which is formed in interaction with the surroundings and results from the child’s own activity. Children structure new information based on their earlier experiences, knowledge and views. We integrate the learning material with each child’s experiences and interests.

In order to learn, children must feel safe, well and happy. High-quality interaction relationships and positive emotional experiences enable children to act as unique individuals. Children are naturally curious, creative and active and familiarise with the surrounding world through play. Positive feedback maintains children’s motivation to learn and their image of themselves as learners. Learning should be fun and inspire children to learn more. Children participate in the learning process actively right from the start and shape it through their own activities and ideas.

Mirka Laaksonen, Head of Early Childhood Education, Pilke Daycare Centres

Millaista on työ Pilke-päiväkodissa? Tutustu Pilkkeen ammattilaisiin, hyvän päivän tekijöihin!

esiopettaja

Career story: Elina Saranki, Pre-school Teacher, Mikkel

“It was an easy decision to accept the job offer.”

Read Elina’s story

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Early childhood education and pre-school teacher Elina Saranki started work at the Mikkeli-based science-oriented daycare centre Pilke Sirius in August. She and her family had just moved to the city on the shore of Lake Saimaa from the Capital Region, from a distance of almost 250 kilometres.

The family left behind a compact apartment in Espoo and started to build a detached house in Mikkeli. The idea about moving across Finland had matured gradually.

Elina examined the employment situation in Mikkeli’s daycare centres. There were openings in both Pilke’s units and municipal daycare centres.

“Sirius’ science-orientation piqued my interest as did the new building as a work environment. As I had several years of experience as a pre-school teacher, I was naturally interested in corresponding duties.”

On the next day, Elina’s phone rang after the job interview – Daycare Centre Manager Henna Tolonen wished her welcome to Pilke Sirius.

“It was an easy decision to accept the job offer. After that, the gears started to turn with regard to other matters as well. We found daycare places for our children in Mikkeli, and started loan negotiations with our bank.”

Ulla Keskinen

Tutor activities: Daycare Centre Managers Ulla Keskinen and Päivi Ropponen

Pilke’s tutor activities for new daycare centre managers

Read Ulla and Päivi's experiences from the Pilkke tutoring program

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“My tutor’s support has really helped me integrate with the unit. I feel cared for and experience that even on the organisational level, Pilke pays attention to each individual. We are never left alone. Rather, we are asked how we’re doing and whether we need help.”

When a new good day maker joins the work community, Pilke’s regional and other management takes care of their induction to the duties, the company’s values and principles as well as the required information systems. Daycare centre managers are induced in Pilke Academy, the company’s management coaching programme.

As part of the induction training at Pilke’s daycare centres, each new daycare centre manager is designated a tutor to help them get started. The tutor provides peer support and assistance to facilitate familiarisation with the manager’s new responsibilities.

With our tutor activities, we wish to ensure that the new daycare centre manager does not feel left alone. The tutor is an easily approachable person from the nearest unit – a person the new manager can call with any everyday issue.

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Career story: Mira Nurmi, Daycare Centre Manager, Järvenpää and Mäntsälä

Mira’s exchange to Sotkamo – sharing ideas within Pilke

Read Mira's story

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Mira Nurmi is an experienced early childhood educator whose career at Pilke started in 2014 when the ownership of her workplace was transferred to Pilke. Nowadays Mira acts as Daycare Centre Manager in both daycare centre Pilke Hilma in Järvenpää and sports-oriented daycare centre Pilke Voltti in Mäntsälä. Many choose to take an exchange period during their studies, but it is rather rare to get a similar opportunity in the world of work. Pilke Daycare Centres decided to make use of the experienced manager’s solid pedagogical know-how and send her to Sotkamo in the Kainuu Region to support the consolidation of a new unit. This gave start to an expertise exchange concept which Pilke plans to keep up in the future.

The three-month exchange project was divided into two parts, in the first of which Mira spent five weeks in the music- and nature-oriented daycare centre Pilke Pajupilli in November and December 2019. Over this period, she familiarised herself with the unit, its situation and staff. At the same time, she planned new operating methods and change proposals that were introduced gradually. In January 2020, Mira returned for two weeks to see how the operation started to run.

uratarina hanna

Career story: Hanna Salonen, Daycare Centre Manager, Tornio

From north to south and back again with Pilke

Read Hanna's story

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Hanna Salonen, Daycare Centre Manager, watches children play in the snow from the window of her office while reminiscing about the twists and turns of her career of almost 10 years.

As early childhood education and care had been a vocation for Hanna since she was a child, her graduation as a Bachelor of Social Science in 2010 was no coincidence. Pilke Daycare Centre’s job advertisement that described, among other things, the company’s values aroused her interest, and she ended up starting her career as an early childhood teacher in Espoo.

“Already after six months, I was requested to take up the position of Deputy Manager at Daycare Centre Hiirulainen, and I started taking care of administrative matters alongside the rest of my duties. After I moved to Kerava, Pilke offered me work at Daycare Centre Käpälämäki in Vantaa where I acted as Senior Early Childhood Teacher and managed the small unit’s administration. In 2014, I was appointed as Daycare Centre Manager,” Hanna recounts.

 

When Hanna’s spouse found employment in Tampere, Hanna applied for a new position in the region. It was not long until she was provided with a chance to realise one of her professional dreams and participate in establishing Pilke’s music-oriented unit Nuottisilta in Tampere.

Back home to close the circle

Hanna explains how she used to joke that as soon as Pilke would expand to Lapland, she would move back home too. After the birth of Hanna’s second child, the family started to find attractive the idea of moving back to Tornio, close to their social networks. As it turned out, plans for a Pilke daycare centre in Tornio were already underway, and the dream that had started from a laugh become reality. As a result, Hanna has managed two daycare centres since 2019: the music-oriented daycare centre Huvikumpu in Tornio and the nature-oriented daycare centre Virta in Keminmaa, the latter of whose establishment Hanna got to participate in.

“I’m more than satisfied by how the circle came to a close and how my round trip in various Pilke units led me back home to Tornio. With regard to fulfilling my professional ambitions, I’m grateful for the opportunities I have been provided with as well as for the trust placed on me. Right now, I’m happy where I am. In the future, however, I’d like to increase my professional expertise through further studies,” Hanna states.

A fitting employer with matching values

Similarly to Pilke, one of Hanna’s primary values is optimism. It is the value that Hanna believes has brought her where she is now. According to Hanna, her success is a result of both her own and Pilke’s optimistic attitude.

“What I appreciate in particular is Pilke’s low organisational hierarchy that enables smooth communication with experts. It has always been easy to ask and receive help, and every employee has the opportunity to influence their work. I’m particularly thankful for being able to express myself and perform meaningful work. My strengths have been taken into account and I have been asked to participate in various development projects and work groups.”

Hanna’s typical workday starts by wishing good morning to all the children and adults at the daycare centre. She enjoys her breakfast with the daycare group, after which it is time to immerse herself in office work. By the computer, Hanna plans work shifts and replies to parents’ inquiries about daycare places. Daycare Centre Manager’s responsibilities also include cooperation with the municipality with regard to daycare places as well as the pedagogical management of the unit.

Versatile and rewarding work as daycare centre manager

“As early childhood education teacher, the children were the best part of my job! In my current position, the most attractive aspect is the versatility of my duties. Even though I manage administrative tasks, I don’t consider my work monotonous – the children are always just a few steps away. I enjoy working with different kinds of people and being able to support others. It’s magnificent to be able to participate in the development of early childhood education and care.”

Hanna names her appointment as daycare centre manager the highlight of her career as she had dreamed of it already during her studies. Her career has progressed faster than she could have ever imagined.

According to Hanna, her greatest challenge is the limited amount of time at her disposal: when managing two daycare centres, she has little time for participating in the units’ everyday operation.

“Every now and then I feel inadequate as I’d like to spend more time with the children and see the groups’ operation. Most of my working time is consumed by operational, human resources and customer relationship management as well as financial responsibilities,” Hanna explains.

“The most important task of the daycare centre is to provide each child with a good day – every day.”

According to Hanna, a child’s good day consists of various aspects. In addition to healthy food, safety and warm hugs, each child needs to receive pleasant learning experiences through play and other everyday activities. It is important for the daycare personnel to know how to seize the right moments and provide the children with diverse activities in accordance with their interests

Elina Inkovaara

Career story: Elina Inkovaara, Senior Daycare Assistant, Pori

“I’m not invisible to the children even though I work at the kitchen.”

Read Elina's story

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Elina Inkovaara, 38, works as Senior Daycare Assistant at the science-oriented daycare centre Pilke Välke in Pori. A mother of two school age boys, she lives in the countryside with her family. There they run an organic farm, and Elina spends most of her free time in the field.

Elina’s work as Senior Daycare Assistant at Välke started in August 2018. By education, she is a restaurant cook and general upper secondary graduate. When Elina saw a notice about a new Pilke daycare centre being opened in Pori, she sensed the opportunity and contacted the regional manager.

“I emailed the regional manager to ask whether they had need for kitchen or cleaning personnel. She invited me to a meeting where I was interviewed by her and the daycare centre manager. A couple of weeks later, I was welcomed to work,” Elina recounts.

Elina enjoys her work. A regular day starts by making breakfast, doing the laundry and placing orders. The rest of the day she spends preparing lunch trolleys, serving lunch and snack and doing the dishes. At the end of the day, she cleans up the kitchen and washes the snack dishes, after which she can close the kitchen for the day. That is not all, however. Her workday also involves senior daycare assistant’s duties, such as placing catering and cleaning product orders by phone and email.

“Pilke Välke is a pleasant workplace with a positive and constructive atmosphere. The educators are flexible and help us assistants when required. In return, we help them with the children. We always aim to develop the work community and improve its functionality, sometimes through trial and error. We pull the same rope with a humorous twinkle in the eye,” Elina says.

There are also those days when the children and staff are sick, and a few pairs of extra hands are required. Luckily, the attentive work community is ready to help even on the busiest days.

“The things I like the most about my job are the children and quick passing of time. I’m not invisible to the children even though I work at the kitchen. A good workday consists of things that progress smoothly, without surprises and on schedule, not to forget pleasant intercourse with colleagues. I have fantastic workmates, and I get along well with everyone.”

Last spring, colleagues voted Elina to receive an additional paid day off.

“It was a wonderful surprise for which I’m grateful to my workmates. I spent the day off as a supervisor on my children’s class trip. This shows that at our workplace, daycare assistant is as important a role as any. We don’t have borders between professional groups,” Elina says.

According to Elina, a daycare assistant’s work is fitting for a person who likes to manage many things at once. The work requires a brisk touch as there are plenty of tasks to take care of during the day. One has to be prepared for quickly changing situations, and humour is the key to everything.

“Good humour takes you far even in unpleasant situations, such as epidemics or the like,” Elina concludes.

uratarina_anu

Uratarina: Anu Volanen, varhaiskasvatuksen opettaja, EspoCareer story: Anu Volanen, Early Childhood Education Teacher, Espoo

Finding the words for everyday life

Read Anu's story

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If someone suddenly feels cranky in the daycare centre hallway, it is good to pause and ponder the situation together. Anu Volanen, Early Childhood Teacher, turns outbursts into successes.

 

“Each day’s best moment is when a child successfully learns something new,” says Volanen. For example, they may learn a new word or an everyday skill – or simply to put on their shoes by themselves.

“For a child, it’s a great success. It’s wonderful to be able to share this joy with the children.”

Volanen works at daycare centre Kanin Kolo in Espoo. She guides the group of 3–5-year-olds that currently has 23 children. The management of the unit’s everyday routines is based on plans prepared by the personnel and listening to the children’s wishes. In addition to providing care and education for the children, her work involves daily cooperation with families and planning the unit’s programme.

“Part of our job is reacting to everyday situations and part is carrying out the prepared plans.”

Even though one plans the day thoroughly and tries to anticipate the day’s events, everything does not always go as planned.

“If something goes wrong, we take a break with the children. We can, for example, sit down and have a chat. If required, we discuss the situation with the whole group and try to figure out why everyone is yelling or why the hallway is congested,” Volanen explains. “A large part of my work is finding the words for everyday life for the children.”

Volanen is generous with praises for her work community:

“People clearly have a drive for development at our workplace. Everyone wants to educate themselves, and the atmosphere encourages renewal. It is one of the reasons I work here.”

For example, the personnel were enthusiastic about examining the new National Core Curriculum for Early Childhood Education and Care together. Another sign of enthusiasm is that the personnel wish to organise delightful events such as May Day celebrations with the children.

“The atmosphere is cheerful and positive. The children are regarded with genuine affection.”

It is a daycare centre where both the employees and the children enjoy coming to every morning.

Vacancies

Pilke has various vacancies at daycare centres, after-school clubs and childcare services around Finland on a constant basis.

Even if you cannot find a position that matches your expertise among our vacancies, we will gladly hear from you.

Ask for further information!

We will be happy to tell you more about our operating methods and employment at Pilke. Don’t hesitate to contact us, we will gladly get to know you!

Chief of staff Hanna Ruuttunen
hanna.ruuttunen@pilkepaivakodit.fi

You can also contact the Pilke daycare centre managers of your area, the regional coordinators of after-school clubs or our childcare customer service.

Take a peek into our everyday life on our social media channels on Facebook and Instagram.