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Tukea lapsen hoitamiseen kotona

Benefits for looking after a child at home

Published29.11.2022
In Finland, one of the parents usually looks after the child at home at least for the duration of the parental leave. The parental leave lasts for 320 working days, i.e. approximately 14 months. For that period, Kela pays parental allowance. After that, the parent can continue to take care of the child at home, in which case they can receive child home care allowance.

Child home care allowance and child care leave

If you look after your child at home, you can take unpaid child care leave from your work until the child’s third birthday. You can apply for child home care allowance (kotihoidon tuki) from Kela for the duration of the leave. You can also apply for home care allowance if you do not have a job. Further information: Family leave.

You can receive child home care allowance for the period during which your child does not participate in municipal day care but is taken care of in other ways, for example in private early childhood education. Child home care allowance is always paid to the child’s parent or other guardian. Normally, child home care allowance is not paid abroad.

Kela will pay child home care allowance in the following situations:

  • The child is permanently residing in Finland.
  • At least one of the parents is working in Finland and is covered by employment pension insurance.

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. Ask your municipality of residence or Kela whether you get 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 also be paid to family members residing in another EU or EEA member state. Ask for more information at Kela.

Impact of the family leave reform on child home care allowance

If your family has received parental allowance under the old law (due date before 4 September 2022), you can take child care leave and receive child home care allowance after the parental leave.

If your child’s due date is 4 September 2022 or later, you can apply for home care allowance at the earliest when 160 business days have passed since the child was born. The child will then be around six months old.

Flexible and partial care allowance

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

You can apply for flexible care allowance and partial care allowance from Kela if your child is permanently residing in Finland.

If you care for your child under the age of three at home and work no more than 30 hours a week, you can apply for flexible care allowance from Kela. A child under three years of age can attend municipal day care part-time during flexible child care leave.

If you are caring for a child in the 1st or 2nd grade and work up to 30 hours a week, you can apply for partial care allowance from Kela.

The parents can each receive flexible or partial care allowance at the same time if they both work part-time 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.