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Updated 5 months ago

Choosing a new school for your child is a daunting task, especially for families who have relocated to a new city. Luckily, Denmark has a very high standard of childcare services and schools that welcome non-Danish children of all ages.

Education in Denmark

Education is compulsory for children between the ages of 6-16 years old. Denmark has gone to great lengths to provide childcare services and public schools with English language options for international students. Expatriates have a choice of schools and will find the Danish schooling system to be sophisticated and of excellent quality.

Childcare facilities in Denmark

Any child in Denmark under the age of six is entitled to a place in the public childcare system, as long as both the parent and child have a CPR number and registered address. There are public, private, and English-language options for childcare available in most major Danish cities.

Although childcare is not free, it is subsidised by the state. The cost of childcare will depend on the age of your child/children and the type of childcare that you choose. Up to 48 hours of care is offered each week, and additional costs may apply for weekend and night childcare options.

The age groups are broken up as follows:

  • Nursery/daycare (Vuggestue og dagpleje): 6 months to 2 years and 10 months old
  • Kindergarten (Børnehave): 2 years and 10 months to 5 years old

A good place to start is by visiting childcare options in your area to decide which ones you like. There is usually a waiting list for nurseries and kindergartens; remember to sign up well in advance by enrolling or placing your child’s name on a waitlist by visiting your local district website.

 Good to know:

Operating hours for childcare facilities are generally from 06:30 am to 5 pm.

International schools in Denmark

International basic schools

There are an impressive 24 international basic schools in Denmark. These are private elementary schools that have been approved to provide education in languages other than Danish. Any student with foreign parents who will be staying in Denmark for a short period of time is usually granted admission. Additional enrolment and study fees may apply.

Municipal international basic schools

These schools are freestanding schools that attract foreign labour by offering free schooling in English, French, and German in certain municipalities to pre-school classes and students up to the age of 16.

The local council is responsible for all fees, although parents who decide to enrol their students in school-based leisurely activities must pay all associated fees. Contact the local school authority in your municipality to find out about these schools.

International upper secondary schools

Denmark has 15 international upper secondary schools which offer the internationally recognised IB diploma. Tuition fees and admissions processes can be found on the individual websites of the schools.

 Good to know:

These schools are not subsidised by Danish authorities.

Public schools in Denmark

Expats may choose to enrol their children between the ages of 6 to 16 in Danish public schools (‘folkeskole’) for free. Any child with a CPR number and address in Denmark can enrol at a school within your district.

Non-Danish students will either receive extra language support or be placed in a reception class for a maximum of two years until they are comfortable with the Danish school system and language.

Afterschool care in Denmark

Afterschool care options are divided up by age:

  • 6-9 years old: after school centres that are open until 17:00 and 07:00-17:00 during school holidays.
  • 10-14 years old: youth centres open after school until 17:00.
  • 14-18 years old: youth clubs that offer various activities until late – contact your local youth club for specific opening hours.

 Good to know:

Afterschool care options with the exception of youth clubs have additional fees.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.