The English Kindergarten of Kotka (FIN-20)

Type: Education: Kindergarden - Country: Finland

Brief description and main aims

The English Kindergarten of Kotka (Kotkan englanninkielinen leikkikoulu in Finnish) offers early childhood education both in English and Finnish for children aged 2–6 years. There are 42 children and 6 teachers in the kindergarten. The kindergarten is run by the Finnish-American Society. Website:

Main Activities

In the kindergarten, it is believed that every child is unique. Respect towards others and the environment as well as good manners are valued. Central to the goals of the kindergarten is providing the children with a chance to familiarize themselves with the English language and culture. The mission statement of the kindergarten is ”Together with the parents we want to raise our children in a safe and caring environment that will encourage the children to grow into self-motivated, confident, and co-operative individuals. We believe every child is unique and hope to strengthen their self-esteem. We emphasize the importance of good manners as well as important social skills. The children are immersed in the English language through curriculum and play. We hope to instill a sense of global awareness and tolerance of all people.”

Volunteer tasks

Volunteers work and play with the children in various situations during the days. They assist the teachers in different duties and everyday routines. Volunteers also have some light, daily, assisting cleaning tasks. Work also includes sharing cultural differences and similarities with the staff and the children. Volunteering in the kindergarten offers a chance to improve own skills in English, to learn Finnish as well as to develop social skills and get to know Finnish culture.

Volunteer requirements / Skills

The volunteer should be able to communicate in English, be motivated to work and play with children aged 2–6 years and should have good social skills.

Unfortunately, the physical environment of the workplace is not very well suitable for people with physical disabilities: wheelchair access is possible through two doors but not to all rooms because of some stairs. There is an accessible toilet in the building with a smaller sized wheelchair. The nearest bus stop is about 1 km away from the kindergarten. The staff does not have the possibility to continuously offer intensive support for the volunteer. The workplace cannot receive a volunteer with sensory disabilities.


The kindergarten is located on the south-east coast of Finland in the city of Kotka, about 130 kilometres
away from Helsinki. Kotka is a city with around 55,000 people. Local bus connections are rather good.

Hosting Situation (Board and Lodging)

Volunteers will live in a host family so it is important to be motivated to adapt to family living. Breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack are served at the kindergarten during school days. Other meals are provided by the host family.

More Information

Usually 1 volunteer

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