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How much does early childhood education cost?

Early childhood education in a daycare centre and family daycare is subject to a fee. The fee is based on the family’s gross income. The fee also depends on the number of hours the child spends in daycare and on the size of your family. If you have low gross income, early childhood education is free of charge. Early childhood education for 5-year-olds and pre-primary education for 6-year-olds are free of charge for 4 hours per day. The fees are reviewed annually, and you must always report any changes to your income. Early childhood education fees are invoiced once a month and the fee covers the previous month's early childhood education.

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Amount of the early childhood education fee

You have to pay a monthly fee for early childhood education. The total amount of the fee depends on your family’s size, service need (number of care hours) and gross income. 

The parents and guardians (married spouses and cohabiting partners living in the same household) and underage children of both parents or guardians living in the same household are taken into account in determining the family size. 

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The gross income of the family means the income of the parents and guardians (married spouses and cohabiting partners living in the same household) and of the children taken into account in determining the family size. Taxable income, income from capital and non-taxable income count as income. Income from interest and benefits also count as income. Holiday pay of about 5% is added to earned income. The following does not count as income: child home care allowance, child benefit, benefits under the Disability Benefits Act, housing allowance, study grant and adult education allowance. If you do not report your family’s income, you will be charged the highest early childhood education fee. 

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The number hours your child spends in early childhood education affect the total amount of the fee. The daily care hours are specified in the service agreement you make before starting the service. The agreement is made for a minimum period of five months, and it cannot be changed for holiday periods. 

If your child is absent from early childhood education continuously and regularly, weekly or monthly for part of the calendar month, you can make a written agreement to cut back hours from full-time daycare. In Helsinki, it is possible to agree on 4–12 regular days off per month. 

See in the table below how the fee is determined based on your child's daily care hours:

Early childhood education   Pre-primary education and early childhood education*)    Children born in 2016  
  Fee   Fee   Fee

over 7 h

100% over 7 h 65% over 7 h 65%

Holiday fee for a 6-year-old pre-primary education pupil, 
total of +7 h /day 

90%**)

pre-primary education + daycare,
total of 7–8 h/day

60%***)

pre-primary education + daycare,
total of 7–8 h/day
60%***)

over 5–max. 7 h

80%

over 5–max. 7 h

40% over 5–max. 7 h 40%

max. 5 h

60% max. 5 h 20% max. 5 h 20%

 *) Daycare in the place of pre-primary education during holidays is subject to a fee. 

**) Applies only to the fee of 6-year-old pre-primary education pupils during school holidays. 

***) Applies only to 6-year-old pre-primary education pupils and to 5-year-old children participating in the two-year pre-primary education trial.

Round-the-clock daycare

h/month

Fee
161- 100%
101-160 80%
61-100 60%

 

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If your child’s need for early childhood education changes, agree on the change in advance with the manager of your child's early childhood education location. 

The fee will be changed starting from the date indicated in the agreement and a new decision will always be issued. The new agreement is made for a minimum period of three months. The service need may change due to changes in employment or studies, for example.

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The early childhood education fee is charged for a maximum of eleven calendar months per operating year (1 August–31 July). No fee is paid for July. However, if the child's care agreement has started on 1 October or later, the customer fee will also be charged for the following July. 

A family’s full-time fee for child care is calculated as follows:  

  • Select the minimum gross income limit per month of early childhood education according to the family size from the table. Subtract it from the (average) monthly gross income.  

  • Take a share of 10.7% from the remaining amount = the full-time daycare fee of the youngest child. 

Family's size, income limits and gross income for the lowest and highest fee as of 1 August 2021:

Family size, 
persons 

Minimum gross income limit for the lowest fee 

EUR 27/month 

Minimum gross income limit 
for the highest fee 
EUR 288/month 

2

3 051 €

5 485 €

3

3 863 €

6 297 €

4

4 352 €

6 789 €

5

4 841 €

7 275 €

6

5 328 €

7 762 €

If the family size is greater than six, the income limit for determining the fee is increased by EUR 189 for each subsequent child of the family. For example, in a family of seven, the minimum gross income limit is EUR 5,075 (income limit for six people) + EUR 189, i.e. in total EUR 5,264. 

Early childhood education fees are index-linked on the basis of Section 16 of the Act on Client Fees. Index adjustments are made every two years. The next index adjustment will be made as of 1 August 2022. 

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The maximum fee for full-time daycare is EUR 288 for the youngest child and EUR 115 for the second youngest child in early childhood education. For other children, the full-time daycare fee is 20% of the youngest child’s fee, at maximum EUR 58. In all fee categories, a fee can be assigned for the second youngest child in full-time early childhood education, which is at maximum 40% of that of the youngest child. 

Fees under EUR 27 regarding children are not charged. 

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The monthly fee will be charged for days of absence with the following exceptions: 

  • If the child is absent from early childhood education due to illness on every operative day of a calendar month, no fee will be charged.
  • If the child is absent from early childhood education due to illness on at least 11 operative days of a calendar month, half of the monthly fee will be charged. 
  • If the child is absent from early childhood education for reasons other than illness on every operative day of a calendar month, half of the monthly fee will be charged.  
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Fee decision and income statement

When you have applied for an early childhood education place, you will receive a fee decision based on the income statement. Submit your income information no later than 2 weeks after the child has started early childhood education. 

If you do not report your income information, you will be charged the highest early childhood education fee. The early childhood education fee is reviewed once a year. 

Income information may comprise, for example: a payslip showing accrual, holiday pay and fringe benefits, a receipt of maternity allowance, parental allowance and/or a receipt of child maintenance and child maintenance allowance. 

Income information is submitted to the Daycare Fee Unit either by post or via secure email, to which you can attach income receipts. 

Logging in to secure email requires online banking credentials, Mobile ID or an identity card with a chip. Send your income statement via secure email  (opens in new tab). Enter the name of the child’s daycare centre in the subject field of the email. 

You can also deliver the statement and its attachments to the letter box at Töysänkatu 2 D. If you want to send the income statement and its attachments by post, you must pay the postage yourself. 

You can also take the income statement and its attachments to the daycare centre for forwarding. 

Income statement for determining the early childhood education fee, PDF  (opens in new tab)
(Does not apply to private early childhood education)

Fee reduction or waiver application, PDF  (opens in new tab)
(Does not apply to private early childhood education)

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If your family’s income information or other circumstances change, the fee decision can be changed at the earliest from the beginning of the following month, when the income information or some other sufficient account has been submitted. Report changes in income and family size to the Daycare Fee Unit.

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Free early childhood education for five-year-old children

5-year-old children are entitled to four hours of free early childhood education per day. Free early childhood education is provided either in early childhood education or during the pre-primary education day for those participating in the two-year pre-primary education trial. 

In August, the guardian can opt for a total of 7–8 hours of pre-primary education and early childhood education per day for a 6-year-old child in pre-primary education and for a 5-year-old child in the pre-primary education trial. In this case, the early childhood education fee is 60%. During school holidays, the fee is 90% for a 6-year-old child in pre-primary education. 

  • with 4 hours of early childhood education per day, the early childhood education is free of charge 

  • with 4–5 hours of early childhood education per day, 20% of the full-time early childhood education fee will be charged for the part exceeding 4 hours 

  • with 5–7 hours of early childhood education per day, 40% of the full-time early childhood education fee will charged for the part exceeding 4 hours 

  • with more than 7 hours of early childhood education per day, 65% of the full-time early childhood education fee will be charged for the part exceeding 4 hours 

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Two-year pre-primary education

Free early childhood education (four hours a day) of the children participating in the two-year pre-primary education trial is included in the pre-primary education day. The early childhood education fee is determined in the same way as the free four hours for 5-year-old children. 

Helsinki is one of the municipalities selected for the trial. Some of the children born in 2016 started the two-year pre-primary education trial in August 2021, and some of the children born in 2017 will start the trial in August 2022. The daycare centres and children participating in the trial have been randomly selected by the Ministry of Education and Culture. 

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Early childhood education invoice as e-invoice 

Married spouses or cohabiting couples living with children in the same household can decide together who will receive the e-invoice in their online banking service. According to the Act on Client Fees in Early Childhood Education, the invoice is only delivered to the address where the child lives together with the guardian/s. By default, the guardian, whose name is mentioned first on the paper invoice, is the person who is the payer of the invoice. If the guardians decide to change the payer, the change must be notified to the Daycare Fee Unit by email at varhaiskasvatus.maksut@hel.fi before signing the e-invoice agreement. 

Please note that with the e-invoice agreement, all invoices issued by the City of Helsinki’s Financial Management Services (Helsinki kaupunki, Taloushallintopalvelu)  will be sent as e-invoices to the online banking service of the person who signed the agreement. 

Follow these steps to sing an e-invoice agreement in your online banking service : 

  1. Log in to your online banking service with your credentials and navigate to e-invoicing. 
  2. Choose Helsinki kaupunki, Taloushallintopalvelu (City of Helsinki, Financial Management Services) as the invoicer.
  3. Enter the invoice recipient’s personal identity code in the format ddmmyy-xxxX as an invoice identifier.

Information about your e-invoice request via your online banking service will be transferred to the customer register of the Financial Management Services within a few days. After this, the invoices will always be sent to your online banking service.