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Quick guide to benefits for families with children

Parents are entitled to family leave and various benefits from Kela following the birth of a child. This checklist presents the most common family benefits in chronological order.

Expecting a child

Visit an antenatal clinic and submit a certificate of pregnancy

When you are 154 days or about 5 months into your pregnancy, you can get a certificate of pregnancy from the antenatal clinic.  You will need it to claim maternity grant and pregnancy allowance from Kela.

Maternity package or as a cash benefit

You can get the maternity grant either in the form of a maternity package or as a cash benefit of EUR 170. Claim the maternity grant no later than 2 months before the expected due date. The maternity package is delivered about 2 weeks after being granted to you.

Pregnancy allowance during the pregnancy leave

You can usually take maternity leave 30 working days, i.e. about 5 weeks, before the expected due date. Pregnancy allowance is paid for a total of 40 working days, i.e. about 1.5 months.

Claim pregnancy allowance

Find out if your employer will pay you a salary during the pregnancy leave. You will need this information when you apply for pregnancy allowance. The birthing parent can also apply for parental allowance at the same time.

Child benefit

Kela pays child benefit from the beginning of the month following the birth of the child. Child benefit is paid until the child reaches the age of 17.

Claim child benefit

You can apply for child benefit before the child is born.

When your child is born

Parental allowance during the parental leave

You can start parental leave once your child is born. The birthing parent can get parental allowance immediately following the pregnancy allowance, even if the child has not yet been born. Kela pays parental allowance for one child for 320 working days, i.e. about 13 months, and the allowance is divided equally between the parents.

Discuss your leave with your employer

You can take parental leave in periods of various length until the child reaches the age of 2 years. You must, however, agree with your employer on when to take parental leave, because your employer may have the right to limit the length or number of periods of leave.

 

Claim parental allowance

Claim parental allowance once you have decided when you wish to take a parental leave. Find out if your employer will pay you a salary during the parental leave. You will need this information when applying for parental allowance. Claim parental allowance within 2 months of the date from which you wish to receive it.

Last opportunity to claim child benefit

Parents can agree which of them will claim the child benefit. Claim child benefit no later than 6 months after the birth of the child.

Your child will receive a personal Kela card in the mail

When a child is born in Finland, information about this goes directly from the hospital to the population data system and from there to Kela. Once the child has been named, the child will get a personal Kela card.

The child is about 6 months old

Child care leave

You can take unpaid child care leave to care for the child after 160 working days have passed since the birth of the child. The child will then be about 6 months old. The child care leave is granted by the employer. For the time of child care leave Kela pays child home care allowance or flexible or partial care allowance.

Child home care allowance

You can be granted child home care allowance if the child does not participate in municipal early childhood education and no daily allowances are paid for the child. The caregiver can be the parent or someone else, such as a grandparent or a private day care provider. Child home care allowance is payable until the child reaches the age of 3 years.

Flexible care allowance

You can be granted flexible care allowance for a child aged under 3 years if your working hours per week are on average at the most 30 hours. You cannot be granted flexible care allowance if you receive a daily allowance for parents for the same time. If the working hours of the child's other parent is at the most 30 hours per week, the parent can receive flexible care allowance even if you receive a daily allowance for parents for the same child.

Claim child home care allowance or flexible care allowance

File an application for the child home care allowance or the flexible care allowance within 6 months of the date from which you wish to receive it.

The child is about 9 months old

The right to early childhood education begins

When a child is about 9 months old, it is possible for the child to attend municipal or private early childhood education. Parents who choose private early childhood education can apply for private day care allowance.

Private day care allowance

You are entitled to the private day care allowance if a child under school age in your family is looked after by a private provider of early childhood education or by a caregiver you have hired.

The child reaches the age of 2

The right to take parental leave ends

You can no longer take parental leave or get parental allowance.

The child starts school

Partial care allowance

You can get partial care allowance if you work no more than 30 hours a week while caring for a child. Partial care allowance is paid for children who are in the first or second year of school.

File an application for the partial care allowance

File an application for the partial care allowance within 6 months of the date from which you wish to receive it.

The child reaches the age of 17

Payment of the child benefit ends. Young persons can apply for student benefits for studies after comprehensive school.

Last modified 11/12/2023

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