For accompanying family members
Pre-schools and schools
- Pre-school. Childcare services/pre-school (förskola in Swedish) are available for all children from one year of age, provided they have a Swedish personal identity number. If you have not received your personal number, you can still apply for pre-school but must add documents that prove your working assignment and tenancy agreement in Sweden. You must also include a letter explaining the situation.
Parents pay a fee linked to the family’s income and the child’s attendance (max 1 510 SEK/month). Contact your municipality to find out more about pre-schools in your area and to enrol your child.
- Compulsory school is mandatory and is open to all children aged 6-16. It is composed of one compulsory year of kindergarten/reception class and nine other compulsory years of schooling. Each school year consists of an autumn and spring term.
- Upper secondary school is for young people aged 16-20. The school is free, non-compulsory schooling. Upper secondary consists of national programmes, specially designed programmes, and individual programmes.
Contact your municipality to find out more about schools in your area and to enrol your child.
Parental leave and benefits
Sweden has one of the most generous parental leave (föräldraledighet in Swedish) systems in the world. According to the Parental Leave Act, employees are entitled to be absent from work to take care of their children until the child is eight years of age. During parental leave, the parents’ allowance is paid by the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan in Swedish).
If you are employed, you have a right to stay at home to care for your child until they are 18 months old. You must apply for parental leave at least two months in advance.
Parental benefit is money you receive to be able to be at home with your child instead of working, seeking work, or studying. Parents are granted 480 days of leave per child; 390 of these days are income based and 90 days are at the minimum level. It is not your employer who covers the cost of your parent benefit but the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. Children who live in Sweden start receiving a child allowance (barnbidrag in Swedish) the month after their birth. The allowance is paid until the child turns 16. You need to be registered with the Swedish Social Insurance Agency and qualify for the benefits.
If you are a stipend-funded doctoral student, there is an insurance policy provided by the Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency; for those cases your stipend is reduced due to absence from studies in the case of illness or parental leave.
Pregnancy and health care for infants
Maternity clinics (or MVC for the Swedish term, mödravårdscentralen), are primarily for pregnant women. You go to the maternity clinic throughout your pregnancy to check that both the child and you yourself are doing well. Visits to the maternity clinic are free.
At the child health care centre (or BVC for the Swedish term, barnavårdscentralen), you can receive advice and support with your child’s development, feeding, vaccines, and well visits. When you come home after the birth, you can contact the child health care centre yourself to make an appointment for a first meeting. The first meeting is often held at your home. At the meeting, the nurse tells you about the child health centre and looks to see how your baby is doing.