Background and development of Valssi

Early childhood education and care

Valssi is part of the national framework for the evaluation of early childhood education and care. Valssi is being developed as part of the ‘Varhaiskasvatuksen laadun arvioinnin kehittäminen ja järjestäjien tuki’ (‘Developing the quality evaluation of early childhood education and care and support for organisers’) project in 2020–2023. Content development is handled by a group of experts appointed for the project, while technical development is handled by CSC in collaboration with FINEEC and the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Valssi was commissioned for use by all organisations in August 2023.

What is Valssi?

Valssi is a national quality evaluation system designed to support the quality management of ECEC organisers and service providers. Valssi is a feature-rich digital service that can be used to carry out the collection of evaluation data, obtain operator-specific evaluation reports, produce location-specific evaluation summaries and publish the statutory evaluation results of operators.

Valssi’s user interface and all evaluation forms in the system are implemented both in Finnish and Swedish. FINEEC provides support for the commissioning of Valssi and completing evaluation processes.

What can you do with Valssi?

Valssi enables municipal and private ECEC organisations and day-care centres to introduced versatile tools for evaluating both the structures supporting ECEC services and the core processes.

With the help of Valssi, data on the level at which the activities are carried out can be collected easily across the entire organisation. Once the data collection has been completed, an evaluation report for a specific operator can be produced from Valssi as a quantitative summary of the respondents’ self-evaluation results. The report can be reviewed and discussed together both in the management of the organisation and in day-care centres.

We offer support for day-care centres using Valssi and a workshop model for discussing the evaluation report. In day-care centres, the personnel together with the head will define the key strengths and development areas of the theme to be evaluated as well as agree on development measures and their monitoring. The head will save the unit’s summary to Valssi and inform guardians of the results.

In addition to the evaluation report, the management of the organisation can examine the summaries saved by the heads of day-care centres and other information concerning the organisation, such as customer service surveys. Based on this information, the strengths and development areas of the entire organisation can be identified, and plans of action and monitoring plans can be drawn up. Once the evaluation has been completed, Valssi is used to publish the evaluation results and inform the entire organisation about them, including guardians, stakeholders and decision-makers.

Who is Valssi for?

Valssi has different user profiles: maintainers, main users, implementers and respondents. Maintainers are the parties responsible for the operation of the system, such as FINEEC.

Main users are persons responsible for the quality of early childhood education and care and its development in the organisation. The main users can use Valssi as part of the organisation’s quality management. They can deploy Valssi’s evaluation tools, view operator-specific evaluation reports and site summaries, and eventually save evaluation results. Valssi main user rights are granted by the responsible users of Studyinfo in municipalities and, for private service providers, by the Finnish National Agency for Education. The main user grants main user and implementer rights within their organisation.

Implementers are heads of day-care centres responsible for carrying through the evaluation process at unit level. The heads of day-care centres send the evaluation forms to the staff and support the staff at different stages of the evaluation. Together with the staff, the heads identify strengths and development areas associated with the theme to be evaluated, draw up a development plan and monitor its implementation.

Respondents are staff members responsible for education and instruction at day-care centres whose information has been saved to Varda. While respondents do not need to log in to Valssi, a precondition for using Valssi is that the work email addresses of heads of day-care centres and employees have been saved to Varda. For childminders, evaluation forms and possibilities of responding to them will be developed later. Evaluation forms have also been designed for guardians. These forms will be introduced at a later stage not only in Finnish and Swedish but also in other languages.

Theoretical background

In 2018, FINEEC published an outline of factors affecting the quality of ECEC based on ECEC legislation, steering documents and research. In conjunction with this, FINEEC also published the quality indicators for ECEC, which verify the essential and desirable properties of high-quality early childhood education and care. You can learn more about the document, the theoretical background and key evaluation concepts here: Link.

Further information

This final report examines the planning phase, the development phase, piloting and deployment of the system, and the final results of the system development.

Janniina Vlasov

Janniina Vlasov

Counsellor of Evaluation
Early childhood education
+358 29 533 5543 Helsinki
Tuomas Sarkkinen

Tuomas Sarkkinen

Senior Evaluation Advisor
Early childhood education
+358 29 533 5582 Helsinki