Quick guide 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.

You can claim family benefits quickly and easily online. You may have to provide some additional documents in support of your claim. They can be sent at the same time, for example in the form of a clearly legible picture that you take with your phone.

Expecting a child


Visit a maternity and child welfare 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 maternity and child welfare clinic. You need it to claim maternity grant and maternity allowance from Kela.


Claim the maternity grant no later than 2 months before the expected due date

You can get the maternity grant either in the form of a maternity package or as a sum of 170 euros. The maternity package is delivered about two weeks after being granted to you.

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Maternity allowance during the maternity leave

You can take a maternity leave 30-50 working days or about 5-8 weeks before your expected due date. The maternity allowance is paid for 105 working days, i.e., for about 4 months.

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Claim the maternity allowance no later than 2 months before the expected due date

Find out if your employer will pay you a salary during the maternity leave. You will need this information when claiming the maternity allowance. If you wish, you can claim child benefit and parental allowance at the same time.

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When your child is born


Paternity allowance during the paternity leave

Fathers can take paternity leave after the birth of their child. The paternity leave can last up to 54 working days or about 9 weeks. Fathers can choose to stay at home for a maximum of 18 working days at the same time as the child's mother while she is paid maternity or parental allowance. The rest of the paternity leave can be taken in a maximum of 2 separate periods after the parental allowance has ended.

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Claim paternity allowance after the birth of your child

Claim paternity allowance once you have decided when you wish to take a paternity leave. Find out if your employer will pay you a salary during the paternity leave. You will need this information when claiming paternity allowance. You can also claim the paternity allowance retroactively before your child reaches the age of 2 years.

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Child benefit

Kela pays a child benefit for children under 17 years of age who live in Finland. You can get the child benefit from the beginning of the month following childbirth.

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Claim the child benefit

Parents can agree which of them will claim the child benefit. You can claim the child benefit at the same time you claim a maternity, paternity or parental allowance. The child benefit is payable retroactively for no more than 6 months as of the date of the claim.

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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 register and from there to Kela. Once the child has been named, Kela sends a personal Kela card for the child.


Get a postnatal checkup at the maternity and child welfare clinic

Mothers should get a postnatal checkup 5-12 weeks after childbirth. They will receive a certificate that must be submitted to Kela to qualify for a parental allowance.


Claim the parental allowance

Claim the parental allowance no later than one month before you want to start a parental leave.

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Child is 3 months old


Parental leave

The parental leave begins after the maternity leave. The child will be about 3 months old at this time. Parents can agree between themselves how to use the parental leave entitlement. During the parental leave, Kela pays parental allowance for 158 working days (a little over half a year).

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Last opportunity to claim child benefit

Child benefit is payable retroactively for no more than 6 months as of the date of the claim.

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Child is 9 months old


Child care leave

Your child will be about 9 months old when your parental leave ends. After that, either parent can stay at home on an unpaid child care leave until your child is 3 years old. The child care leave is granted by the employer. A partial or part-time child care leave is possible as well.


Claim child care allowances

If your child does not attend day care arranged by the municipality, you can get financial assistance from Kela depending on your child care arrangements. Claim child care allowances online within 6 months of the date from which you wish to receive them.

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Child home care allowance

If a father or mother takes care of a child under 3 years old at home, the parent can claim child home care allowance. The caregiver can also be someone else, such as a grandparent or a private day care provider.

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Private day care allowance

Private day care allowance can be granted to families with a child under school age who is looked after by a private day care provider or by a caregiver the family have hired.

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Flexible care allowance

The mother or father of a child under 3 years of age can get a flexible care allowance from Kela if he or she works no more than 30 hours per week on average.

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Child is 2 years old


Last opportunity to claim paternity allowance

Fathers who have not claimed paternity allowance for their paternity leave should do so within 2 months of their child's second birthday.

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Child starts school


Partial care allowance

You can receive partial care allowance if you work no more than 30 hours a week while looking after a child. Partial care allowance is paid for children who are in the first or second grade.

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