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Tukea lapsen hoitamiseen kotona

Benefits for looking after a child at home

In Finland, one of the parents usually looks after the child at home until at least the end of the parental leave, in other words, until the child is around nine months old. After that, you can continue to take care of your child at home, in which case you can receive child home care allowance.

Child home care allowance

If you are looking after an under-three-year-old child at home, you can apply for child home care allowance from Kela. The carer can be, for example, the child’s guardian or a relative. You cannot obtain child home care allowance if your child is in municipal day care. Normally, child home care allowance is not paid abroad.

Kela will pay child home care allowance if:

Child home care allowance consists of basic allowance and a supplement whose amount depends on the family’s income and the municipal supplement, if your municipality pays one. Check from your local social services office whether your municipality pays municipal supplement. The basic allowance is the same for all and is not affected by the family’s income.

Child home care allowance is taxable income.

In certain situations, child home care allowance can be also paid to family members residing in another EU or EEA member state. Ask for more information at Kela.

Child care leave

If you look after your child at home, you can take unpaid child care leave (hoitovapaa) from your work until the child’s third birthday. You can apply for child home care allowance from Kela for the duration of the leave.

You can take child care leave if you have worked for the same employer for at least six months over the last 12 months. You must inform your employer of the leave at least two months before it starts.

Flexible and partial care allowance

Child care leave can also be part-time. It means working shorter hours and being paid correspondingly less.

You can apply for flexible care allowance (joustava hoitoraha) from Kela to look after a child who is under the age of 3 and partial care allowance (osittainen hoitoraha) to look after a child who is at grades 1 or 2 at school if you have a municipality of residence in Finland. Flexible or partial care allowance is not granted for the care of a child who has turned three but is not yet in school. A child under 3 years of age can attend municipal day care part-time during a flexible child care leave.

You can apply for flexible or partial care allowance if you reduce your working hours from your normal hours to no more than 30 hours a week to look after your child. A mother and father can each receive flexible or partial care allowance at the same time if they both work shorter hours and take care of the child at different times.

Care allowance is paid for one child at a time and it is taxable income. You cannot receive flexible or partial care allowance if you are receiving parental allowance and/or child home care allowance and you are looking after your children yourself.