Ever wake up and wonder what the Finnish daycare system is like?
In the United States, over 97% of married-couple families with children have at least one employed parent, and 65% of these families have both parents employed. That means parents need to find alternative childcare options if they don’t want to be on a Zoom call with a toddler crying or a baby ready to be put down for a nap.
So, parents often opt for daycare. Now, there’s not many parents in America who would refer to their daycare facility as their “village.” However, in Finland, it’s quite the opposite.
A Finnish mom on TikTok, Annabella Daily, shared details about what Finnish daycare is like for a child, and honestly, my mind is blown. Not only does it seem that Finnish daycare truly takes a deep investment in their children, but it’s also affordable. What a dream!
“Here kids are encouraged to be independent and their educators are not called ‘teachers,’ but specialists in early childhood upbringing,” she explains while filming her son toddling through one of the daycare rooms.
Daily explained that kids attend Finnish daycares from ages of one to six where the process of learning comes through in the children’s play time. Every day, the kids are provided warm meals and healthy snacks prepared and served to the kids in their “dining room.”
“The kids spend hours outside every day and inside they're also encouraged to move in the playrooms. They also do art, music and crafts,” she continued.
One of the more mind-blowing aspects of Finnish daycares is that the specialists help potty train the children “in their own time” using tiny sinks and toilets to help the kids learn.
Another aspect of Finnish day care that will make American parents weep into their checkbook is the fact that daycare is considered “every parent's and child's right” with a maximum cost of $325 a month. Daily notes that private daycare may cost a bit more.
Unsurprisingly, TikTok users sounded off in the comment section, agreeing that Finnish daycare was actually amazing and noting that America just gets these things wrong compared to other parts of the world.
One American parent commented, “Cries in American daycare for $1,200 a month.”
Another wrote, “$325 a month??? Wow.”
Daily replied, “Yes can you believe it!!! It’s 8-5 but you can drop off later or pick up earlier, as you wish & what works for your child & work schedule”
One Finnish parent chimed in and said, “Finnish daycare is best! They also do much visits to museums, music shows etc. And they use nature to learn counting and stuff So kids can be kids ❤️”
Daycare costs in America have grown so astronomically high in the U.S. that many families decide to have one parent stay home by default because the budgeting just does not make sense.
According to the Daycare Council of New York, daycare for a toddler costs roughly $341 a week (not per month), which is $16,380 a year.
However, there could be light at the end of the tunnel, and we won’t all have to move to Finland to get some affordable childcare.
According to The Center For American Progress, President Biden’s Build Back Better plan could help lower the costs of childcare in the United States.
The Build Back Better Act, which was signed into law in August 2022, includes two investments in early childcare and education: 1) two years of universal preschool and 2) a sliding scale limit on child care costs for families. In 32 states, a typical family would save more than $100 per week on child care.
In March 2023, President Biden called for renewing enhanced child tax credit payments for parents as part of the family policies in his latest budget proposal. Biden’s plan calls for raising the current maximum child credit from $2,000 per child to $3,600 per child under age 6 or to $3,000 per child ages 6 and up.
Until then, maybe we just all live vicariously through Finnish parents who have it made!