Child home care allowance

Eligibility

Child home care allowance can be claimed by a parent or other legal guardian 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).

Care allowance and care supplement

Child home care allowance includes

  • care allowance, which is not affected by the family's income
  • care supplement, which is affected by the family's total income
  • municipal supplement, depending on the home municipality.

When can you receive child home care allowance?

Kela may grant child home care allowance

  • for a child under 3 years of age who is not in municipal day care
  • for a child over 3 years of age if the family also includes a child under 3 years of age for whom child home care allowance is paid
  • for an adopted child (see parental benefits for adoptive parents)

The care allowance is not affected by the family's income, which means that the parents can work or, for instance, take their annual holiday while they receive care allowance.

When can you not receive child home care allowance?

  • when the youngest child reaches the age of 3 years (the entitlement to statutory child care leave also ends at this time, but if your employer grants care leave you can also stay at home to care for a child over 3 years of age, but you cannot receive any benefits from Kela for this)
  • if the family receives some other Kela benefits which affect the child home care allowance (See Amount.)
  • if the child has a reserved place at a municipal day care centre for the summer
  • a parent who does not live in the same household as the child
  • a foster parent

Care leave can be taken in several periods

The right to care leave is based on the Employment Contracts Act (the Ministry of Employment and the Economy). Care leave is granted by the employer. You must therefore enter into an agreement on this with your employer before you can take the leave. You must notify your employer at least 2 months before you plan to take the leave.

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.

Last modified 08/07/2015
Updated 22/10/2012