The purpose of the Finnish model for leisure activities is to increase the wellbeing of children and young people by allowing them to engage in fun and free hobbies during the school day. The choice of activities is based on the children and young people’s own preferences. The model will be planned, created and tested in collaboration with leisure activity providers.
Activities based on the Finnish model for leisure activities will be held in 249 municipalities in the 2022–2023 school year. Based on applications, the Ministry of Education and Culture has granted municipalities a total of EUR 14.5 million in special funding for the school year 2022–2023. The funding will make it possible to organize a total of more than 10,000 groups for various leisure activities in almost 2,000 schools. Nearly 400,000 children and young people are participating in the organized activities. The aim is to make the Finnish model for leisure activities a permanent practice in these municipalities.
Special funding for municipalities
The application period for funding granted by the Ministry of Education and Culture for leisure activities for the 2023–2024 school year closed on February 28, 2023. A total of EUR 17 million in funding was granted to municipalities for implementing the Finnish model for leisure activities. The aim is to make the Finnish model of leisure activities a permanent practice in municipalities. More information on how to apply for funding, the terms of its use and reporting is provided on the website of the Regional State Administrative Agency. If necessary, prospective leisure activity organizers can contact an official at the Regional State Administrative Agency for their area. The contact details for these persons are given on the funding application website of the Regional State Administrative Agencies.
Find an organizer
The Finnish model covers all kinds of leisure activities: sports and physical education, arts and culture, youth activities, science, nature, crafts, and other areas that children and young people may be interested in. The activities can be organized by sports clubs, cultural institutions, youth organizations, the municipalities themselves, and other organizations with expertise in working with children and young people. Leisure activities may also involve self-motivated activities in a supervised environment.
A Finnish-language contact list of leisure activity organizers has been compiled to assist municipalities in implementing the model. This is intended to help municipalities find partners and professional instructors for leisure activities that children and young people have requested. Activity providers can add their contact details to the list using the registration form.
A guide to organizing leisure activities according to the Finnish model has been prepared for associations and other interested parties (‘Harrastuksia kouluihin’, available in Finnish). In addition to information on becoming an organizer, the guide explains what to take into account when planning, organizing, monitoring and evaluating leisure activities. The organizers of leisure activities in municipalities should be informed of the guide to organizing leisure activities according to the Finnish model (‘Harrastuksia kouluihin’).
Student’s preferred leisure activities
Municipalities must choose and arrange activities based on the views expressed by children and young people, and this information must be obtained before school-specific leisure activity plans are prepared. For information on children and young people’s views regarding leisure activities, municipalities can use the aforementioned 2020 school student survey conducted by the Ministry of Education and Culture or arrange another means of gathering such information. The information must be gathered on a school-specific basis. For the spring 2022 round of applications, prospective organizers could make use of the results of the 2020 school student survey or a similar source of information on the leisure-related interests of children and young people. The next nationwide school survey will be conducted in autumn 2022. More information on the school surveys is available in Finnish on the website of the Ministry of Education and Culture.