Financial assistance for families with children
There are various forms of financial support and child care arrangements available for families.
Before the child is born
Available to women resident in Finland
- Whose pregnancy has lasted for at least 154 days
- Who have had a medical examination within the forst four months of pregnancy
Foster parents are also eligible for the maternity grant.
The form of the maternity grant may be either the
- Maternity package of baby clothes and necessary items, or
- A cash lump sum
The maternity grant is tax-free and available from the Social Insurance Institution Kela:
For infant care
Maternity leave can be taken until the infant is around three months old. The length of maternity leave is 105 working days (6 days per week).
After maternity leave, either the mother or father may remain with the child on parental leave for between 3 and 9 months. The period of leave may also be divided between the mother and father. The length of parental leave is 158 working days (6 days per week).
If more than one child is born at a time, the parental leave is extended by 60 working days for each additional child.
Parents of an adopted child also have the right to parental leave if the child is under 7 years of age.
After the birth of the child, the father may take parental leave for a maximum period of 18 working days (six days per week) at the same time as the mother is on maternity leave. The length of paternity leave is altogether a maximum of 54 working days, of which the final 36 working days must be taken at a different time to the mother.
The father may also take the whole 54 working days of paternity leave at a different time to the mother's maternity and parental leave. In both cases the period of leave must be taken before the child reaches two years of age.
Maternity, Paternity, and Parental Allowance
Maternity, paternity, and parental allowance are paid according to the income-based daily allowance or the minimum daily allowance.
Parents are entitled to maternity, paternity, and parental allowance if they have had health insurance in Finland or another EU or ETA country for at least 180 days immediately prior to the estimated birth date.
For Care of Small Children
Child Care Leave
Parents have the right to take from their work unpaid child care leave up to the point when the child reaches three years of age. Either the mother or the father may take the leave, but the parents may not be on child care leave at the same time.
Home care support is paid during the period of child care leave. The municipality may also pay to the receiver of home care support a municipal additional allowance.
Part-Time Child Care Leave
A parent may be on part-time child care leave up until the end of the child's second year of schooling. If the child is subject to extended compulsory school attendance, thus attending school for a longer than normal period, part-time child-leave may be taken until the end of the third year of schooling.
For parents involved in caring for under 3-year-olds and therefore working shorter days, a flexible child care allowance is paid. Parents of 1st and 2nd year schoolchildren may receive part-time child care allowance. If the child is subject to extended compulsory school attendance, the part-time child care allowance is paid until the end of the child's 3rd year of basic schooling.
The right to take child care leave lasts longer than the time period during which flexible or part-time child care allowance is paid. The employer and the employee are to make agreement in a manner which suits them regarding part-time child care leave and the details of its organisation.
Temporary Child Care Leave for the Care of a Sick Child
The parents of a child under the age of 10 have the right, in the event of the child falling ill, to four working days of temporary child care leave for each period of illness, for the purpose of organising the child's care.
Private Child Care Support
As an alternative to the child day-care provided by the municipality, a family may apply for private child care support for a child under school-age, so that child care can be arranged for them. The child care provider may be either a child day-care centre, a joint family day-care unit, or an individual private carer.
Private child care support is comprised of the child care allowance and also the child care additional allowance which is granted subject to family size and income. Certain municipalities also pay a municipal additional allowance.
Details of income support quantities and conditions for family leave
Kela is responsible for financial benefits paid to parents. Benefits are applied for from Kela.
Paid for children resident in Finland until the age of 17. Tax-free. Further information from the Social Insurance Institution Kela
Children are entitled to sufficient maintenance, for which their parents are responsible according to their ability. Parents are responsible for maintaining their children until the age of 18.
If parents do not take care of their maintenance of their children, or in cases where children do not live permanently with one or other parent, children may be eligible for child maintenance.
Parents may mutually agree on their children's maintenance and present this child support agreement for endorsement to the social welfare board of the municipality in which the children live.
If a child support agreement is not reached by parents, the matter is decided by a district court.
Maintenance allowance is paid monthly or can be paid by agreement as a lump sum. The Ministry of Justice is responsible for issues related to child maintenance.
Child maintenance allowance
If children do not receive maintenance from the parents responsible for it following divorce or separation, child maintenance support can be obtained from the Social Insurance Institution
This is paid if
- the parent liable for paying child maintenance has failed to do so
- the parent liable for paying child maintenance is unable to
- the paternity of the child cannot be verified
- the sum of child maintenance is smaller than that of child benefit