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Early Childhood Education Institutions, Policies and Practices research group (ECEPP)

Research theme 1

Policies, politics and governance of ECEC

This theme is divided in to projects that examine changing translocal, national and political processes of ECEC institutions and ECEC policies and their role in everyday lives of children and their families.



Team: Kirsti Karila & Maiju Paananen

Aim: The project examines the potential sources of inequality of the ECEC and child care benefit system.

Collaborative partners: University of Jyväskylä (PI: Prof. Maarit Alasuutari), PERLA (Team leader, Prof. Katja Repo), THL (Team leader: Johanna Lammi-Taskula)

Funding: Srategic Research Council, Academy of Finland (2015-2017). 


Memories of post/socialist childhood and schooling

PI: Zsuzsa Millei

Aim: The project explores childhood and schooling in late socialist societies by bringing into dialogue public narratives and personal memories that move beyond imaginaries of Cold War divisions between the East and West.

Collaborative partners: Professor Iveta Silova, Arizona State University, USA and Dr Nelli Piattoeva, The University of Tampere, Finland.


Childhood and politics

PI: Zsuzsa Millei

Aim: The project explores (1) Children as targeted objects of political initiatives that draw on various scientific bodies of knowledge, such as psychology or neuroscience, to secure and improve their health, development, wellbeing and education. (2) Children as instrumentalized objects for economic, social or political outcomes, such as raw materials for society, human capital investments or other types of agenda that aims to shape their lives. (3) Children as political subjects who participate in politics, be that official politics concerning social issues that matters to them, or more ‘mundane politics’ that arise in children’s day-to-day lives.

Collaborative partners: Professor Eva Bendix Petersen, Roskilde University, Denmark;  Kirsi Pauliina Kallio, SPARG, University of Tampere, Finland; Dr Brad Gobby, Curtin University, Australia, Professor Maarit Alasuutari, University of Jyväskylä, Finland; Dr Mikko Joronen, SPARG, University of Tampere, Finland.

Doctoral students:

Janniina Vlasov’s doctoral dissertation is titled ‘Comparative study of Socio-Cultural Changes in Early Childhood Education’ and examines early childhood education in the USA, Russia, and Finland. The central aim is to identify changes that have taken place in the child care sector in the studied society contexts over the last two decades. The multi methodological study is part of a larger research project “Education in a Changing Society” that is run by professor Eeva Hujala.

Professor Eeva Hujala

Mirka Kivimäki's dissertation 'Equality and forms of services of the ECEC' examines different forms of ECEC services in Finland from a discursive point of view. By doing that it is possible to examine and interrogate the presuppositions related to different ECEC institutions that also influence the organization of the ECE services and thus, the everyday life of Finnish children and their families. The focus is on the questions of what kinds of roles each different form of ECEC such as ECEC in day care centers, family day care and open ECEC receives in the municipal and local level discourses. More precisely, the dissertation asks, what kinds of tasks are set for different forms of services; to whom the services are targeted to; how parents justify their decision to select certain form of service. The study is based on the interviews of the municipal officials responsible for the ECE services and the parents of under school age children. Discursive methods are used in the analysis of the data.

Professor Kirsti Karila
Professori Maarit Alasuutari (University of Jyväskylä)

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Last update: 20.11.2018 12.15 Muokkaa

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