children playing

Promoting children’s welfare in the Nordic countries

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version
Our Schools/Our Selves, Spring 2009
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland
Publication Date: 
1 May 2009



Though the comprehensiveness and levels vary, all Western European countries have direct income transfers to families with children, but few other countries have as extensive social services for families with children as the Nordic countries (Kvist 1998, 169). Social services for families with children are even considered "the key to the Nordic welfare model" (Sipilä 1997). Extensive public daycare systems favour mothers' labour market participation and are therefore amajor factor in the realisation of economic gender equality. In the Nordic countries ECEC services are most often publicly funded and delivered.That relates also to child care in private homes where the municipalities collect fees from the parents, and in turn pay the care providers.