Child care allowances

Changes to child care allowances effective 1 August 2022

There will be changes to the duration of child care allowance payments and the time at which payments of child home care allowance start. For details, see the pages for the individual allowances.

After the parental leave, you have different options for arranging your child’s day care. Your child can be in municipal or private early childhood education or can be looked after at home.

Child care benefits paid by Kela are

  • child home care allowance
  • private day care allowance
  • flexible care allowance
  • partial care allowance.

You can be granted child home care allowance or private day care allowance if your child does not attend municipal early childhood education. Flexible or partial care allowance can be granted if your working hours are 30 hours per week, maximum, and the other entitlement criteria for the benefit are met.

Child care allowances are not paid for periods shorter than one month. The allowance period does not have to start from the beginning of the month. The minimum allowance period includes all periods in which either parent receives child care allowances.

The one-month minimum requirement is also met when the child home care allowance continues after the period of paternity allowance so that the periods of child home care allowance last for at least 30 days in total.

Starting 1 August 2022, child care allowance payments must last at least one month. There can no longer be interruptions between individual payments, and payments shorter than one month are no longer added together. Any payment of a child care allowance can go to either parent. 

Child care leave for working parents

Agree with your employer how you are going take your child care leave. You must notify your employer at least 2 months before you plan to take the leave.

The care leave can be taken 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 so agreed with your employer.

For information about the child care leave, you may also wish to contact your employer or your union or consult your collective agreement.

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