Everyday lives of small children in a Finnish reception centre

Joys and challenges, friends and communities, time and waiting – knowledge production with children through playing, talking, and making art!

Reception centres are intermediate spaces, places between the past and the future - at least that's how people generally think, but how do children who have lived in such a place all their lives experience it?

Reception centres are intended as temporary accommodation for persons who arrive in Finland to seek asylum or who have been granted temporary protection. The number of children living in reception centres and the time they spend there have increased in the 21st century. Due to the slowness of asylum processes, some of the children have spent their entire early childhood in reception centres.

In my research I collect material about children’s experiences – together with children! I use the method of participant observation. The children and their families are involved in the research by formulating research questions, planning, and implementing joint activities, and in thinking about preliminary observations and raw analysis.