Childcare in Sweden

Børnepasning i Sverige
Read about different forms of childcare in Sweden for children aged between 1 and 5.

In Sweden there are different types of childcare for children aged between 1 and 5. You must pay for the childcare.

When you are working, studying, looking for work, or you are at home with the child’s younger siblings, you are entitled to childcare. In Sweden, it is generally the municipalities that are responsible for childcare, called preschool (förskola) and educational care (pedagogisk omsorg).

You are entitled to childcare from the date of the child’s first birthday. You cannot expect to be offered a place earlier than that, nor if you work in another country where parental leave is shorter.

In order to apply for a place in a daycare institution, you must be either registered in the applicable municipality or must be able to prove that you will be a permanent resident in the municipality.

There are no national regulations for the documents you must show to prove that you are planning to live in a Swedish municipality. Contact the municipality in which you plan to live for information about the municipality’s practical procedures and documentation requirements for checking that you and your family are living, or planning to live, in the municipality. The regulations vary from municipality to municipality.

According to the Swedish Association of Local Authorities (Sveriges Kommuner och Landsting, SKL), the municipality may not insist that your child has a Swedish personal identity number before you can apply for a childcare place.

Preschool (förskola)

The usual form of childcare for children aged between 1 and 5 is in a preschool (förskolan). The preschool is an educational group activity that children may participate in from the age of 1 and until they start in the preschool class (förskoleklass) or school.

The preschool has its own curriculum that is obligatory. There are preschools that are run by the municipalities, but private preschools are also common, for example, private preschools run by parents.

All preschools are open all year round. Preschools are open during the day, but in some municipalities there are also preschools that are open in the evenings and at night. Contact the municipality to which you will be moving for further information.

If you are unemployed or on parental leave, your child is entitled to a place for at least three hours a day or 15 hours a week. Some municipalities offer more than this.

In Sweden, there is a maximum charge (‘maxtaxa’), a ceiling to how much parents have to pay.

Educational care (pedagogisk omsorg)

Educational care can, for example, be an educational activity for registered children in the applicable daycarer’s home, or it can be various types of multi-family solutions.

This can be an alternative to the preschool. Contact the municipality to which you will be moving for further information.

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