Albatross Daycare is a privately owned, independent English speaking daycare located in the Leppävaara area. It was established in 1998 and currently provides education and care for 100 children. Albatross Daycare is not part of any early childhood education chain. We are one daycare, which is split across two different locations in Leppävaara.
In Finland, early childhood education centers are required to have a certain number of staff in relation to the number of children. For children under the age of three, the ratio is one teacher to four children. For children over the age of the age of three, the ratio is one teacher to seven children. In Albatross, we fulfill this basic requirement.
In addition, to the required number of staff members, we also hire extra staff who perform a variety of different roles in Albatross. These extra staff members are not required to have, but we feel that their role and function is just as important to allow us to focus on the main goal – the children! Additionally, the extra staff members allow the teachers to focus primarily on teaching and preparing activities for the children.
Who are the additionally staff members and their role?
- Pedagogic Manager – The role of the pedagogic manager to ensure that Albatross Daycare follows the Finnish curriculum and the Finnish way of education for children in early childhood education and preschool. As Albatross Daycare is so international with staff members from all over the world, it is important that all teachers are aware of the what the education system is like in Finland and how it is implemented in early childhood education. Moreover, the pedagogic manager offers support and counsel for teachers in the classroom.
Another part of this role is to liaison with specialists in the field of early childhood education and co-operating with officials from the city of Espoo.
In this role the pedagogic manager is available to be in the classroom if teachers are out.
- Resource Teacher – The primary role of the resource teacher is to allow the teachers in the groups to fulfill their administration/planning requirements. According to the labour union book, (TES) all teachers are required to have five hours of planning time per week. In Albatross, we organise it so that teachers can fulfill this planning time during their working hours. When a teacher has their planning time, according to their schedule, the resource teacher will be in the classroom during this time to ensure that the ratio between child and staff is in balance.
Another role of the resource teacher is from time to time to be allocated to a specific group if a staff member is away due to illness or holidays. Again, this way we ensure that the ratio is in balance.
- General Manager – The role of the general manager is to ensure the day-to-day running of the daycare. The general manager is the first contact for all daily operations in Albatross. This role varies from working with staff members, answering to parent’s questions, interviewing and hiring staff members, to looking at ways to further develop early childhood education in Albatross in co-operation with the pedagogic manager. In addition, the general manager works closely with the daycare owner, Eija Rolamo, in matters relating to finances and budgets. Also this position requires dealing with all general administration issues relating to Albatross and the families.
In this role, the general manager is also available to assist in the classroom if teachers are out.
- Two cleaners – As Albatross is split over two different locations, we have hired cleaners to take care of the daily cleaning in the premises as well as some other duties such as food shopping and preparing snack. By hiring cleaners, it ensures that the teachers in the groups can focus more on the children rather than using their working time away from the children.
- We will offer additional resources from January with the arrival of a new staff member. This additional staff member will work closely with children, teachers, parents and management. More on this to come in the near future. Stay tuned!
In conclusion, the reason for Albatross to hire extra staff members is to ensure that the education that we offer is of the highest standard. We allow the teachers to focus on teaching and the children. Moreover, these additional staff members ensure that the ratio between teachers and children is in balance throughout the day in the event that a staff member is off.