The Youth Work Act states that a young person is a natural person between 7 and 26 years of age. The Youth Field Development Plan 2021-2035 (Noortevaldkonna arengukava 2021-2035), adopted 12.08.2021, outlines four strategic goals in the field of youth:
Strategic goal no. 1: MOMENTUM – Young people are the creative momentum driving the society onwards – the drivers and leaders in the fields of education, culture, economy, the environment and so on.
Strategic goal no. 2: PARTICIPATION – the protection of youth rights in the state is consistent and active youth participation is supported.
Strategic goal no. 3: INDEPENDENCE – quality youth work (including hobby education for young people) is available across Estonia and provides all young people with opportunities for versatile self-development, experiencing success, acquiring experience, and gaining independence.
Strategic goal no. 4: SECURITY – The exclusion and detachment of young people is noticed and prevented through a safety net that increases a sense of security.
The Ministry in charge of youth is the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research. Department responsible for youth is the Department of Youth and Talent Policy. Department deals with areas of youth work, hobby education, and talent policy. Education and Youth Board formed in 2020 is responsible for education and youth field operational implementation, established on the basis of the services of four former state-level institutions like Innove Foundation, Archimedes Foundation, Information Technology Foundation for Education, and incorporated Estonian Youth Work Centre.
According to the Local Government Organisation Act, the local governments have a key role in organizing the local life, including youth work services. Most of the financing of youth work comes also from the budget and own income of the local municipalities. See more in Chapter 1.4. According to the Youth Sector Development Plan, the state funding to youth policy and youth work for the years 2021-2035 is 356.29 million euros.