With the advent of the autumn, domestic kindergartens will still follow the strict guidelines of the THL and the Board of Education in their corona policy.
According to the guidelines, only asymptomatic or corona-tested children are eligible for day care. According to a story published by Yle on Thursday, even a child who has a negative corona test result will not be eligible for treatment in all cases until the symptom ends.
According to Auli Rytivaara, an expert doctor from the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), a rhinovirus resembling an astonishingly large number of symptoms is currently spreading in Finland. An expert doctor believes infections will increase during the fall as the rest of the children return to daycare and schools open their doors.
- After all, the parents of a child under the age of 10 may be absent from work for three paid days. I would assume that these will increase, Rytivaara says.
According to Miia Kemppi, Oulu's director of early childhood education, the city's kindergartens aim to coordinate the instructions of the National Board of Education and THL accurately, but taking special cases into account. The director of early childhood education points out that in some cases the requirement of asymptomaticness is unreasonable for parents.
- Even in the spring, we had families where even though the mother had just got a new job and the child started to have symptoms during the probationary period. The child was considered symptomatic in black and white, and the mother said that well I would end up working on this. After all, a parent cannot be four weeks away from work, Kemppi says.
According to Kemppi, if a child with symptoms is suspected of having an allergy, a corona test has been performed and allergy medication has been prescribed. If the symptom has begun to improve during medication, the child may be allowed back into kindergarten while still mildly symptomatic.
During the corona period, the staff of kindergartens have, according to Kemppi, found themselves in a tense situation, where feedback comes alternately from parents who are afraid of infections and who are struggling with too strict regulations. The director of early childhood education considers fears of infection understandable because some children and parents are at risk of serious coronavirus infection.
- We have staff in a bit of a crossfire here, and our employees are not healthcare professionals. We cannot determine if a child has an allergy or the flu.
In the summer, the acquaintance visits of new kindergarteners have aroused some annoyance in the parents, because the acquaintance visits have been arranged with as few contacts as possible and only in the early summer when the kindergartens are closed.
In the darkest scenario of the fall, the summer flu, which has already landed in kindergartens, will begin to spread at the same time as the second wave of the coronavirus, according to the head of early childhood education.
- The people of early childhood education probably know that Korona is not over, but some parents have not understood this. Perhaps the Board of Education has also thought in its guidelines that a stricter line will protect children and families.
EK's Rytivaara points out that with the widespread use of telework during the Korona period, parents and work communities are more prepared than before to respond to a child's illness. In modest cases with constant attention, a parent can work from home when the child is ill.
- This will certainly compensate for things, which is why there will hardly be major changes in the national economy. Telework will certainly increase in the autumn.
In some cases, according to Rytivaara, the employer can take care of the child. Many companies offer care to their employees caring for children under the age of 10 by hiring a caregiver for the child.
- This is currently the case at EK and many other larger companies, among others. It is considered that getting an employee’s input is worth it.
Hanna-Kaisa Talvensaari, Helsinki's Communications and Marketing Manager, says that the city's early childhood education follows the guidelines of THL and the Ministry of Education in its corona policy. Children with mild symptoms should also stay at home.
Children with a negative corona test result can return to their daycare once the symptoms have eased.