The share of parental leave taken by fathers – paternity leave – has grown steadily in the Nordics over the past 20 years. Both parents are entitled to generous paid leave, and efforts have been made politically for them to share it more equally. Shared leave is good for fathers, for mothers and for the child, who has a right to both their parents. Certain weeks are earmarked for each parent. Over time “the father quota” has been lengthened and Nordic dads now take more leave than fathers anywhere else in the world.
Childcare arrangements in the Nordic region are among the most generous in the world. This is reflected by the high share of children in daycare – almost every child between 3-5 years old is enrolled in some form of preschool institution. Access to affordable and quality childcare enables working parents, especially mothers, to pursue careers and combine family and work-life.