HEI Schools turning Finnish early childhood education into easy-to-implement products

Finnish early education has an excellent reputation around the world, creating a high demand for our expertise. However, we face the challenge of providing a tangible experience to educational operators outside of Finland, a ready-made “Finnish model” for them to use.

HEI Schools took up the challenge and is now offering Finnish early education to the world through several easy-to-use models. The mission of the company is to provide high-quality early education to as many children and families in the world as possible.

“The root of the HEI Schools concept is to think big: we will consider our project a success once high-quality early education and the HEI Schools concept are accessible to as many families as possible in terms of both cost and physical distance. It is part of our Nordic heritage: leveraging volume to make a well-designed product available to as many people as possible,” says Milla Kokko, CEO of HEI Schools.

Research for commercial concepts

The University of Helsinki enables the commercial development of research into business concepts through Helsinki Innovation Services (HIS).

The university is a founding partner of HEI Schools, and due to this partnership, the HEI Schools curriculum and all aspects of its pedagogical approach are based on decades of academic research on how children learn and how to best train teachers. This academic foundation, as well as ongoing new research work, are integral to the success of the HEI Schools concept.

A mission-driven company, HEI Schools strives to provide the most current, research-based early education curriculum to children all over the world in order to give them the highest-quality education possible.

“Childhood is a period of life when everything is possible. It is a period full of learning opportunities and when all the core developmental changes take place. At HEI Schools, it is our mission and commitment to support every child to reach his or her full potential – without limits and without excuses,” says Lasse Lipponen, co-founder of HEI Schools and Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Helsinki.

Extensive product offering: Finnish education now online

HEI Schools started in 2016 by offering a full kindergarten package to global markets. The HEI Schools Learning Center includes everything from detailed Curriculum materials and extensive Teacher Training to the learning environment design, a well-curated set of learning materials and a peer-to-peer Teacher Community. 

The Headquarter Team provides hands-on support in the setup and launch of these Learning Centers, and this is the best option for those looking to open a completely new type of kindergarten in their region.

Another in-person education option for business owners is HEI Schools Club, an after-school educational program for children ages 1 to 6. It also offers curriculum materials, teacher training, design and learning materials based on the Finnish design but without the intensive licensing process.

New 2020: HEI Schools Teacher Toolkit and Teacher Certificate

In the summer of 2020, HEI Schools released two more products to scale the HEI concept to more markets and make it available to those who already have preschools up and running.

“We have received a lot of inquiries from already established early childhood education and childcare providers about possibilities to adapt the HEI Schools model to their schools. To meet that demand, we designed a product that offers our cutting-edge curriculum and teacher training in an easy-to-implement package to enhance early childhood education at any school under their own brand and name. Due to the challenge of international travel and in-person training, we adapted our expertise so it’s available 100% online,” says Inkeri Mentzoni, HEI Schools Sales Director.

The HEI Schools Teacher Toolkit product serves entire preschools or kindergartens around the world as a monthly subscription service. Built on an easy-to-use platform, the Toolkit includes a theoretical and practical guidebook of Finnish early childhood education, two activity plans per day for three age groups and professional development materials for teachers. It also includes home learning materials to share with parents.

HEI Schools also offers Finnish world-class teacher training with its other new product, HEI Schools Teacher Certificate. Available to any individual teacher or entire schools for their staff, this self-paced online program rewards participants with a University of Helsinki certificate in Finnish Early Childhood Education upon completion. It comprises 10 modules modeled after Finnish teacher education and 760 working hours with practical hands-on assignments that let teachers apply the play-based, holistic approach that makes Finnish education so famous.

HEI Schools continues to grow and expand

With 10 Learning Centers up and running around the world HEI Schools has partners in Baotou and Guangzhou, China; Melbourne and Lara, Australia; Seoul, South Korea; San Rafael, Argentina; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Jakarta, Indonesia; New Cairo, Egypt and Ruoholahti, Helsinki.

Future HEI Schools in progress will be in Suzhou, China; Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, Saudi Arabia; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and a few more in Australia around Melbourne and Sydney.

There are also HEI Schools Clubs coming soon to Shenzhen, China; Toronto, Canada; Nami Island, Korea and Taipei, Taiwan. With the launch of the Toolkit, HEI Schools now has a presence in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, South Africa, Kenya, Canada, Ghana and Pakistan. Additionally, teachers from 15 countries, including Nigeria, Poland and the US, have purchased the HEI Schools Teacher Certificate.

“Every day, we speak to people who are excited about having access to the Finnish education model. As we grow, so does the global demand for early childhood education. Once largely considered little more than babysitting, the field has gained worldwide prominence and respect as an important developmental and educational period in a person’s life. 

When we receive a contact from a new country, we can see that the hard work of our researchers and teachers has spread further than we could ever imagine,” says Milla Kokko. 

She continues, “The desire to give children access to high-quality and rewarding education is everywhere: all parents want their children to be happy and successful. The research in early childhood education done in Finland supports both these outcomes. Finnish researchers don’t put in the hard work to keep this knowledge for just Finland only. They do it because they believe that there is a better way to prepare young children for the world, and they are absolutely right.”

Join us!

HEI Schools is seeking for partners, customers and investors, who are inspired to develop and implement world's best early education and to take the next steps with us in scaling the model globally. Our next funding round will be executed during Q4 2020. 

Learn more about HEI Schools.


A vast majority of children in the world do not have access to high-quality early education. Early education is often merely thought of as babysitting, while the positive impact of high-quality early education is not always understood and valued. The early years of a child’s life have an enormous impact on future academic success and life-long learning habits, it is a time for building a strong foundation for the right values and skills for life.

HEI Schools mission is to provide high-quality, early childhood education for as many children and families in the world as possible. Not just for few, but for many.


HEI Schools is offering an easy-to-implement Finnish early education model for local preschool owners around the world, as a full concept licensing model or as a digital subscription service.

HEI Schools Learning Centers and Activity Clubs: licensing model for local HEI Schools operators

  • Premium early education centers operating with HEI Schools brand and name
  • Personal and online training, guidance and mentoring
  • Center specific quality control and support program
  • Deep pedagogical practises for children, teachers and parents
  • Holistic experience and design throughout all details

HEI Schools Digital: subscription model for any early education operator in the world

  • Operating with their own brand and name
  • Online training, guidance and mentoring
  • General level Quality guidance and tips (online only)
  • General level guidance and tips for pedagogical practises  (online only)
  • Great, detailed curriculum and teacher support (online only)

HEI Schools is founded together with the University of Helsinki.

Key benefits

HEI Schools has packaged the Finnish early learning model to benefit different needs of ECE operators around the world. The Teacher Toolkit digital customers can get ahead of competition by advertising that they are using a Finnish-based curriculum, as well as save in teacher resources & planning time with continuously updated lesson plans. The Teacher Certificate program participants can learn more about the world-renowned and highly sought after Finnish educational model. HEI Schools Learning Center customers get to enjoy a turn-key concept with a fully branded model, including teacher training, beautiful space design, global community, and operational support in addition to the high-quality curriculum.

Business model

Market need and competitive edge

Finnish education is desirable and well recognised all over the world. University of Helsinki as a co-founder and now hands-on implementation experience on several different markets, HEI Schools has a credible and market proven model to serve the growing need for quality early education.

We have currently 11 early education centers open and 20 more in preparation phase around the world: in China, Australia, Korea, Argentina, Indonesia, Egypt, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Mongolia, Canada and Finland. All centers are operated by local school owners.


  • Premium early learning centers / operators: 40.000 centers (Malaysia, India, China, Australia, USA)
  • Mid-range early learning centers /operators: 600.000 centers (Malaysia, India, China, Australia, USA)
  • Early education teachers: +8000.0000 in mid & high-income markets

Business model

The local early education operators can choose to operate as premium HEI Schools branded centers (annual license fee, strong case-specific support) or with their own local brand and concept (more affordable monthly subscription fee, digital-only support).

  • Annual licensing fee for local HEI Schools branded centers
  • Monthly subscription fee for digital curriculum and teacher training for any early education center in the world


International early education providers, digital curriculums.

Join us!

HEI Schools is seeking for partners, customers and investors, who are inspired to develop and implement world's best early education and to take the next steps with us in scaling the model globally. Our next funding round will be executed during Q4 2020.

Contact us

HEI Schools webpage

Follow HEI Schools in social media





Con­tact in­for­ma­tion

Milla Kokko

+358 40 8600277


Inkeri Mentzoni

+358 40 754 8756


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