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The Ebeneser Foundation (formerly the Hanna Rothman and Elisabeth Alander Institutes Foundation) represents the history of early childhood education and kindergarten teacher education in Finland.  Hanna Rothman started the first folk kindergarten in the Nordic countries in 1888, and, together with Elisabeth Alander, organised kindergarten teacher education at the Sörnäinen folk kindergarten in 1892.

Activities continued and expanded from 1908 in the Ebeneser Building, owned by the Hanna Rothman and Elisabeth Alander Institutes Foundation, which housed a day nursery, a kindergarten, a day care centre for schoolchildren and the Ebeneser Kindergarten Teachers’ College.  Kindergarten teacher education came within the purview of the state in 1977. Training was moved from the Ebeneser Building to other premises in 1993, and was taken up by universities in 1995. Kindergarten activity came to an end in the Ebeneser Building in 1986. Since 2009, the building has been home to the Central Helsinki Music School.

The purpose of the Ebeneser Foundation is to support early childhood education and parenting, and to nurture the heritage of kindergarten work in cultural history.  To fulfil its purpose, the foundation supports and promotes research and education in early childhood education, and takes part in general educational activity. The foundation maintains the Kindergarten Museum and archive.

The Ebeneser Building was designed by architect Wivi Lönn and was completed in the Sörnäinen district of Helsinki in 1908. The building is a protected monument. The Ebeneser Foundation has operated in the building continuously since 1908.

 

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