fbpx Skip to content

The Building Blocks of Quality in Children’s Arts and Culture

At the heart of any children’s arts and culture initiative by a member of the Association of Finnish Children’s Cultural Centers lies the commitment to quality. The Quality Manual for children’s arts and culture by the Association of Finnish Children’s Cultural Centers provides a framework for producing and developing high-quality cultural services, content, and activities for children. The association strives to ensure that Finland has a nationwide coverage of operators providing cultural services, content, and activities for children in accordance with this quality manual. The quality manual complements the association’s strategy, highlighting quality, equality, child-centeredness, and art as key values and defining the operating principles that unite the association and its network.

Where does quality come from?

Children’s arts and culture that is produced to a high quality consists of child-centric artistic and cultural activities that are implemented professionally and adhere to principles of sustainable development. Knowledge of shared cultural heritage and the ability to pass it on to others increases community cohesion and supports building a healthy self-image.

The building blocks for high-quality children’s arts and culture consist of five parts:

  • Art and culture
  • Professionalism
  • Child-centred approach
  • Equality
  • Sustainable development

Art and Culture

Art and culture both offer the child the opportunity and the means to explore themselves and their surrounding environment. Getting to know different forms of art and culture allows the child to find their own way of expressing themselves and share their experiences with others. Art also offers the child a chance to enjoy themselves, influence and affect life around them, participate in different activities, and to develop a strong sense of independence and self-will.

Positive experiences related to self-expression, inclusion and having a say in matters create positive feelings, support self-esteem and give balance during the child’s development. A child’s artistic involvement challenges adults to see the world with new eyes. Children’s artistic activities offer adults an opportunity to gain insight in their thoughts and feelings.


High-quality cultural services for children are built on a strong foundation of cultural, artistic, and pedagogical competencies. Professionals dedicated to children’s art and culture utilize their skills to craft experiences. A professional creator in the field of children’s arts and culture is sensitive to the experiential effects of the activities they organize. Working with children touches, is thought-provoking, teaches new things and offers professionals new perspectives within their profession.

Professional children’s arts and culture providers network with other operators at a local, regional and national level. Sharing ideas, expertise and resources supports both the employee’s and operator’s work. Collaboration makes learning environments and operating methods more diverse and helps operators to better reach their target groups.

Child-Centered Approach

The child-centred approach emphasizes designing and implementing content that is well-suited to children. It ensures that children are actively encouraged to participate, and their opinions and experiences are taken into account, making the programs not just for children but also by children, to some extent.

Children’s arts and culture forms a part of a child’s learning and the environment that they grow in. The child learns that they are heard and appreciated, their work is valued and that art and culture belong to both them and us. Art and cultural education with the content that is produced by professionals becomes an integral part of a child’s play or games and affects their sense of ownership and involvement within and of culture.


The fact that all children are equal, relative to each other and adults, means that all children have the right to participate in cultural and artistic activities. Art and culture are accessible to children regardless of their circumstances related to them, such as language, culture, origin, special needs, socio-economic status or geographical location.

Sustainable Development

To secure good living conditions for current and future generations, different areas of sustainable development (e.g. ecological conditions, social framework, cultural sustainability, regenerative and distributive economy) must also be taken into account within the field of children’s arts and culture. Those who work within the field of children’s arts and culture have an important part to play: they can lift up the voices and highlight the rights of future generations.  Sustainable practices ensure that arts and culture initiatives contribute positively to both the environment and society at large.

Photo: Valtti Koivunen

Share the article in social media:

Related posts

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive the latest news from us by e-mail. You can cancel your order at any time.