The Committee for Childrens’ Evacuation set out a list of criteria for chosen the children to be sent:
In the end, these criteria were stretched so that all children whose mothers wanted to send them could do so. One reason for widening the criteria was the fact that Finland suffered from a shortage of workers and when working mothers were not forced to take care of their children they could be working in the factories.
At first, only small numbers of children were sent to Sweden. The final decision to send the children was always made by the family, but the state actively encouraged it. For example, to underline the temporary nature of the transfer, Finnish official ordered that parents signed a written commitment not to leave their children in Sweden.