Flexible care allowance

You can get flexible care allowance from Kela if you work no more than 30 hours a week while caring for a child under 3.

The amount of the flexible care allowance is determined on the basis of the number of working hours. You must pay tax on the flexible care allowance.

Flexible care allowance is only available for one child at a time.

Eligibility

  • A parent or legal guardian of a child under 3.
  • Both parents at the same time, if they look after the child at different times (e.g. one parent on Mondays and the other one on Fridays, or one parent in the morning and the other in the afternoon).
  • A parent who does not live in the same household as the child.

The flexible care allowance can be paid to someone who

  • works no more than 30 hours per week on average or no more than 80% of normal full-time hours. For the allowance to be granted it is sufficient that either one of the criteria is met.
  • is employed in the private or public sector.
  • is a self-employed person with valid pension insurance under the Self-Employed Persons' Pensions Act (YEL) or the Farmers' Pensions Act (MYEL)

Flexible care allowance can be paid at the same time as, for instance, private day care allowance, or if the child attends municipal early childhood education.

You cannot get flexible care allowance if

  • you are paid a parental allowance at the same time
  • you are paid child home care allowance because you are primary caregiver for the child.
  • you are paid partial care allowance for one of the children in your family
  • you do casual work without being in continuous employment
  • you fall ill and are on sick leave for at least 4 weeks. The entitlement to flexible care allowance ends if you become unfit for work..

Different types of families

Maximum payment period

You can get flexible care allowance until your child reaches the age of 3. The flexible care allowance is not paid for periods shorter than one month. The allowance period does not have to start from the beginning of the month.

Flexible care allowance can also be paid for a period shorter than one month if the total period for which it and other child care allowances have been granted is at least one month.

Starting 1 August 2022, families can only get flexible care allowance for an uninterrupted period of at least one month. Payments shorter than a month are no longer added together.

Agree your working hours with your employer. An arrangement whereby the parent works no more than 30 hours per week on average can be continued beyond the child's 3rd birthday, but the parent will no longer be paid flexible care allowance.

Parents of a child in the 1st or 2nd year of school can be paid partial care allowance if they work no more than 30 hours a week for child care reasons.

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