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




Family leaves and payments

Maternity grant

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

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).

Parental Leave

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.

Paternity Leave

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.

Child benefit

Paid for children resident in Finland until the age of 17. Tax-free. Further information from the Social Insurance Institution Kela

Child maintenance allowance

An obligation to pay maintenance to the child may be confirmed if a parent does not provide for the maintenance of the child or if the child does not live with his or her parent on a permanent basis.

Child maintenance allowance is paid from public funds if

  • a parent liable for maintenance has failed to pay the agreed amount of child support
  • a parent liable for maintenance has insufficient means to provide an adequate level of child support
  • paternity of the child has not been confirmed, or
  • the agreed level of child support is lower than the child maintenance allowance.

The Social Insurance Institution, Kela,  is responsible for paying child maintenance allowance.

The Ministry of Justice is responsible for the legislation on child support.

The parents can make an agreement on child support, and the local social welfare authority shall confirm the agreement. If the parents cannot reach an agreement, the child support will be confirmed by a court decision.

Parents can receive additional information on child support from the child welfare supervisor in their home municipality.

The Ministry of Justice has published guidelines for assessing the amount of child support.