Childcare in Sweden

Childcare in Sweden
Published 2018-10-29 12:49

Sweden's high taxation suddenly makes sense once you consider how it funds childcare. The level of childcare in Sweden is one of the highest in the world, with a very long, paid parental leave split equally between the two parents, a monthly allowance for children, free childrens healthcare as well as free transportation for the little ones.

Parental leave and benefits

Sweden understands that a family needs support even before the child is born. Expectant mothers thus receive free (or subsidised) prenatal care that includes coaching sessions with breathing techniques and group support.

After the birth of the child, or its adoption, parents are entitled to 480 days of paid parental leave ' there are very few countries in the whole world that offer even half as many days. For the first 390 days, parents receive about 80% of their normal salary and there is a flat rate for the remaining 90 days.

Good to know: This parental leave is spread evenly among the parents, so each is entitled to 240 days which cannot be transferred to the other parent. This has resulted to fathers taking more parental leaves to help raise their children than in other countries and is contributing to a society which promotes gender equality.

If you are an EU national, you have the right to receive parental leave. Your parental benefits will be calculated based on how much salary you were making right before you moved to Sweden. That is of course only if you move to Sweden with a new baby, or decide to take your parental leave immediately upon arriving before you get a job in Sweden.

It is worth noting though that not only employed parents are entitled to parental benefits. In fact, you are entitled to parental benefits in all the following cases:

  • you are the child's parent or custodian, or live together with the child's parent and have had other children together.
  • you are married or have been married to the child's parent
  • you are or have been a registered domestic partner to the child's parent
  • you are a stay at home parent (i.e. you are not working, studying or seeking employment)
  • you have health insurance in Sweden
  • your child lives in Sweden, or within the EU/EEA area

The amount of parental benefit you are entitled to vary depending on your circumstances. You can calculate how much money you are entitled on the Försäkringskassan website.

Apart from your parental leave, you are also entitled to a flat monthly allowance of 1,050 SEK for your child (for each child) until it turns 16 years old.

Good to know: It should also be noted that healthcare is free for children and youngsters under 20 in Sweden, as well as dental care. You should consult your county's website for specifics.

Different types of childcare

Once your child is a bit older, you have the option of taking it to preschool (förskola). Preschool in Sweden comprises different types of nursery and daycare services as well as leisure-time centres. There is a monthly cost for a full-time place in preschool, which varies based on your municipality. In general, there is a queueing system so you are advised to apply for placement as early as possible.

Good to know: EU citizens are only required to pay a reduced fee.

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