Childcare and Schools in Denmark

Giving birth in Denmark: Healthcare, Parental Leave, Child Benefits and Mother Groups read Giving Birth in Denmark.
Small Children
If your children are between 6 months and 2 years and 10 months old, you can find a place for them in a nursery (vuggestue) or in daycare (dagpleje). After that, most children go to kindergarten or preschool (børnehave) until they start school at 6 years old. If your child is between 6 and 16 years old, he/she will be going to a state school (folkeskole). Before or after school hours, your child can be looked after in an after-school center (fritidshjem) or a school care (KKFO/SFO).
Applying for Childcare
It is your responsibility to contact the Citizen Services Office (Borgerservice) and register your child for a place in a nursery, kindergarten or school. Depending on which city you live in, you should expect waiting lists so it’s a good idea to apply early. However, you cannot register before the child has received his/her CPR number. We recommend that you visit or contact different institutions, in order to find one that you like. Please be aware, that not all kindergartens would have an English speaking staff, but the kindergarten can apply for language support if they find it necessary for the well-being of your child. Another thing that is special for Danish childcare institutions is spending a lot of time outdoors. Therefore, remember to bring different clothes for your children, as they should have clothes to match the Danish weather. The price of childcare is determined by the municipal board, but according to state law, parents must not be charged more than 25- 28% of the cost of the child’s care in the institution. This cost is also influenced by whether the institution offers meals or not. Contact the Citizen Services office in your municipality for more information or to sign up for childcare. You can find a list of Danish and international child care institutions here.
Children at School
If your child is between 6 and 16 years old, he/she will be going to a state school (folkeskole). Most Danish children who have reached school age (approx. 6) go to the public school nearest their home. The school year starts in August and ends at the end of June. In general, children start school in the calendar year when they have their sixth birthday. As a general rule, there is a space for your child in the school that is nearest to where you live. However, if there are places available in other schools, you have the right to choose between the schools. If you would like your children to attend a Danish public school, you can contact your local Citizen Service Office. They will inform you about which schools in your municipality offer enrollment in special classes for children who do not speak Danish. In Danish, we call these classes “modtagerklasser,” which literally means “reception classes.” If you are looking for an international school, there are 24 international schools in Denmark. You can find them here. After school hours there are a number of caretaking possibilities for your children, depending on which city you live in. Most schools have an after-school “club” for children. You need to pay separate fees for these clubs. The caretaking and youth school activities are typically located at or near the children’s school.
You can find information on international playgroups here.
Child and Youth Allowance
Children under the age of 18 are automatically registered and families receive the full allowance every three months after living in Denmark for at least 2 years. Read more about the rules here. The requirements are that you are registered and pay tax in Denmark. If you already receive child allowance from another country, this will be deducted in the benefit you receive from your municipality. In order to receive child allowance, you need a NemKonto (Easy account) at a Danish bank.
By Anette Pilmark and Anna Wolthers

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