How to get a spot in a Swedish kindergarten

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Sending you child or children to Kindergarten is a big step for you as a parent. Of course, you want to make sure to have the best one for your child. It is very important that you are happy with your choice because that makes it easier to “let them go”.

For us, it was a challenging situation because we moved from Australia to Sweden. In Australia childcare is very expensive so you can imagine that we were relieved when we found out that kindergarten in Sweden is monetarily supported by the government.

Good to know

  • You can start applying for a place when your child is born. Not before. 
  • Your child can start kindergarten when he or she turned one. 
  • You should apply at least 4 months before you need the place.

Now that we have covered the basics – let’s get into some details.

How does it work?

Generally, the application process is done online. So if you are living in Malmö (as we do), you have to go to “malmo.se” and apply there. 

On the start page, you see already the link to “förskola”. You will need to create a profile within the so-called “E-tjänst” which is like your personal account. If you cannot understand or follow all the steps, also no problem. Call the helpline and they will guide you through, also in English 😉

Once you are logged in you will find a map with all the different kindergartens in Malmö. You can choose up to 5 different public ones and prioritize them. Make sure you have done your research first before you apply. If you are also interested in a private kindergarten, that has to be done separately on their individual homepage but please keep in mind that they have sometimes very long waiting lists.

Once you have picked your favourites you will have to provide your and your children personal details, preferred start date etc. and then sign it at the end digitally with your personal ID number. You will get a confirmation e-mail in your inbox afterwards.

Important to know

Important to know is that it is not 100% guaranteed that you will get a spot in one of your top 5. In our case, the city council allocated a spot to a kindergarten that was not even on our list. But you can be assured that they will try their best. For us, that meant a kindergarten that just opened its doors, that has not even been on the list and is only 1,5km away from where we live. Yes, we inspected it before and talked to the staff there and looking back – we are happy with the place.

However, if you don’t like the kindergarten that was allocated to you, then don’t take it. But be aware that this could mean longer waiting time for your kid(s) to get a spot.

How long can your child go to kindergarten per day/week?

There are a few different scenarios. If you:

  • Work or study your child can go to kindergarten as long as you have to work/study per day.
  • Are on parental leave with a sibling the older child can go 30 hours per week for two months, after that 15 hours per week.
  • Study during parental leave, you can always increase the hours. Just talk to one of the teachers and they will give you a form to fill out. There you have to explain why you need more hours.
  • Are seeking for a job, your child is also allowed to go for 30 hours per week.
  • Need more hours because of special circumstances (e.g. psychological reasons).
  • Need night care or other special care. Just talk to the director or mention it beforehand on the application.

Costs per month?

This is depending on the earnings per household and how many children you have. If you have two or three children, the cost per child will decrease. Child number four does not cost anything. The youngest child is always considered “the first child” and therefore the most expensive. The maximum amount per child per month you have to pay is 1478 SEK.

What is included?

The childcare will provide breakfast, lunch and snacks. In case you have a younger one that is still wearing diapers, you will need to provide them. 

If your child is still sleeping during the day that is also no problem. In our case, the younger kids are sleeping outside under wind and rain covered area. They have special sleeping bags to keep them warm and cosy. In general, the kids here spend a lot of time outside, even when the weather is not so good but they have all special clothes so it’s actually no big deal…and the kids love it.

To be honest this was a little difficult for me to get used to because in Germany or Australia the children sleep inside and if the weather is not good they are also inside but in the meantime, I actually think that this is great and increases the strengths of the immune system, too. Our son was not really sick since we moved to Sweden.  

I hope my article gave you some insights into the Swedish kindergarten system. I wish you all the best and good luck in finding the perfect kindergarten for your little ones.

Marlene Laun on Instagram

Marlene Laun

I’m Marlene from Germany. I’m living in Malmö since April 2019 with my husband and two kids. We have also lived in Australia for three years. I love to get to know other cultures and countries and living abroad. Love to travel with my family, making memories, trying different food. I like to cook and bake. I share my impressions of Swedish culture and nature on my Instagram.

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