Helsinki decides to refund day care fees for absences due to covid-19

The city will refund day care fees in full to families that have followed official recommendations and cared for their preschool children at home.

The City of Helsinki has decided that it will return day care fees to families that have not used day care services since the government asked for children to be cared for at home on 18 March.

The official recommendation is still for parents and guardians to take care of their preschoolers at home, if possible. Helsinki will not charge day care fees for absent children for the duration of the recommendation, and March invoicing will be postponed until the end of April.

City officials will also refund payments made for municipal-run afternoon activities for schoolchildren, if the pupils did not use the service. A 50% discount will be given on customer fees for the month of March.

The City of Helsinki will compensate private afternoon care providers who have lost customers due to the coronavirus outbreak, if they send an invoice to the city with a sum reflecting their loss of income. The assistance requires that operations providing care for the schoolchildren were running normally with no limitations, before the state of emergency began.

Fees charged for afternoon snacks at organised activities in public playgrounds will also be refunded for the duration of the home care recommendation, if the children have been absent. A 50% discount will likewise be given on customer fees for the month of March.

Course fees at adult education centres, folk high schools, learning centres, sports training centres and summer universities will also be refunded, if more than half of the lessons were cancelled because of the coronavirus situation. Some of these courses have however been postponed or transferred to distance learning.