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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.
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 per cent 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.
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 three months, and it cannot be changed for holiday periods.
See in the table below how the fee is determined based on your child's daily care hours.
Early childhood education from Monday to Friday
|Over 7 hours a day||100%|
|5–7 hours a day||80%|
|Maximum of 5 hours a day||60%|
Free early childhood education for 5-year-olds
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.
Free-of-charge early childhood education (4 hours a day) for 5-year-old children residing in Helsinki begins yearly on the 1st of August and continues until the beginning of their pre-primary education.
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 per cent. During school holidays, the fee is 90 per cent for a 6-year-old child in pre-primary education.
|Over 7 hours a day||65%|
|5–7 hours a day||40%|
|Maximum of 5 hours a day||20%|
|Maximum of 4 hours a day||No fee|
Pre-primary education and early childhood education from Monday to Friday
Pre-primary education for 6-year-olds and a two-year pre-primary education trial for 5-year-olds is free of charge for 4 hours a day. There is no free pre-primary education during school holidays, when the full fee is charged for each day of attendance for a 6-year-old child. A five-year-old child in a pre-primary education trial also receives 4 hours of free early childhood education during school holidays.
|Over 7 hours a day||65%|
|7–8 hours a day (maximum of 8 hours)||60%|
|5–7 hours a day||40%|
|Maximum of 5 hours a day||20%|
|Fee for 6-year-old during school holidays (7–8 hours a day)||90%|
|Fee for 6-year-old during school holidays (over hours a day)||100%|
Round-the-clock care fee based on the care hours
|Round-the-clock care hours per month||Fee|
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.
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 early childhood education 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.
|Family size||Minimum gross income limit EUR/month|
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 March 2023:
Gross income limit for the lowest fee
Gross income limit
4 136 €
6 627 €
5 260 €
7 751 €
5 937 €
8 428 €
6 615 €
9 106 €
7 290 €
9 781 €
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 2024.
The maximum fee for full-time daycare is EUR 295 for the youngest child and EUR 118 for the second youngest child in early childhood education. For other children, the full-time daycare fee is 20 per cent of the youngest child’s fee, at maximum EUR 59. 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 per cent of that of the youngest child.
Fees under EUR 28 regarding children are not charged.
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. Regular days off reduce the early childhood education fee by 4 per cent a day.
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.
Fee decision and income statement
Submit your income information within 2 weeks of the start of your child's early childhood education.
If you do not provide income information, you will be charged the highest early childhood education fee.
Changes in income and family size must be reported immediately.
Income information may comprise 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)(Link leads to external service). Enter the name of the child’s daycare centre in the subject field of the email.
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.
The client is responsible for the applications and income declarations, including attachments, sent to the client fee unit (Administrative Procedure Act, Chapter 4, Section 17 Responsibility of the document sender).
Income statement for determining the early childhood education fee, PDF (opens in new tab) (Does not apply to private early childhood education)
Reduction or waiver of the fee
The fee for early childhood education is determined according to the size of the family, the need for services and gross income. Once your fee has been determined, you can apply for a reduction or waiver of the fee.
As income we consider the total net income of the family, and as expenditure rent/housing association fees, electricity and water charges, interest on student loans or mortgage and basic amount of social income. Expenditure does not include loan repayments, insurance fees, telephone bills, hobbies, or enforcement proceedings (judicial collection of debts).
Fee reduction or waiver application, PDF (opens in new tab) (Does not apply to private early childhood education)
Early childhood education customer fee decisions will be delivered to the personal service folder of both guardians, spouses or unmarried partners who have logged in and indicated their email address in the service folder.
A guardian, spouse or unmarried partner who has not logged in to the service folder may ask the Daycare Fee Unit to deliver the customer fee decision.
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 email@example.com(Link opens default mail program) 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 :
- Log in to your online banking service with your credentials and navigate to e-invoicing.
- Choose Helsinki kaupunki, Taloushallintopalvelu (City of Helsinki, Financial Management Services) as the invoicer.
- 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.
If you have any questions about invoicing, payments, due date transfers or collections, please send an email or call the Financial Management Service. You can contact the Financial Management Service by email at firstname.lastname@example.org(Link opens default mail program) or by phone 09 310 25300(Link starts a phone call) at 9–15.
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.