Child home care allowance
Child home care allowance can be claimed by families with a child under 3 years of age who is not in municipal day care. The child can be looked after by one of the parents or another person (e.g. a relative) or a private day care provider (e.g. private day-care centre).
Child home care allowance includes a care allowance and a care supplement, which depends on the family's income. The family's income has no effect on the care allowance. Therefore, the parents can be at work or, for example, on paid annual leave at home and receive care allowance. The family may also receive a municipal supplement, depending on the home municipality.
When can you receive child home care allowance?
To qualify for the allowance, the child must not be in municipal day care and the family must have at least one child under 3 years of age. Also, for example, if the child has a reserved place at a day care centre for the summer, the allowance will not be paid even if the child will not attend the day care centre during the summer. It is also possible to pay child home care allowance for children over 3 years of age if the family has a child under 3 years of age who receives child home care allowance.
Adoptive parents can also receive child home care allowance for a child over 3 years of age. It is paid for 2 years from the start of the parental allowance period. The allowance is paid for less than 2 years if the child starts school during this period.
Child home care allowance may only be claimed by a parent who lives in the same household with the children. So-called non-resident parents are not eligible for child home care allowance.
For example, if you receive parental allowance, the amount of child home care allowance may be reduced even to the extent that no child home care allowance will be paid. Further information is available in section Amount.
Care leave can be taken in several periods
Eligibility for care leave is based on Ministry of Employment and the Economy's Employment Contracts Act (in Finnish). Care leave is granted by the employer, and therefore you will agree on the leave with your employer. You must tell your employer of the leave at least 2 months before it starts.
You can take your care leave in one or two periods (for each child). The leave period must be at least one month at a time. It is possible to take the care leave in several periods if your employer agrees with this. Kela will pay child home care allowance for the family for any number of periods as long as the minimum duration of the period is one month.
Both parents cannot take the care leave at the same time, but you can divide part-time child care leave between the parents. Adoptive parents are also eligible for child home care allowance or private day care allowance.
Information about care leave is also available in the collective agreement, and in problem situations you can discuss, e.g. with your trade union about the leave.
Child home care allowance while overseas
Child home care allowance is not usually paid overseas if the family resides abroad, for example, due to work or studies. However, in certain situations the allowance can be paid to EU or EEA countries or Switzerland, for example, for a child accompanying a parent who is on a secondment abroad if the family continues to be covered by the Finnish social security system. Further information is available under Moving to or from Finland. The allowance will not be stopped for the duration of normal holiday trips.
Tell Kela immediately if you move abroad or to another municipality, if your child care arrangements have changed or if there is a change in the family's income. It is important to notify Kela so that you will not be paid too much allowance, in which case Kela would have to reclaim it at a later date.