A Guide for First-Time Finnish Parents

A Guide for First-Time Finnish Parents

21/01/2023 Off By Elizabeth Richardson

Congratulations on becoming a parent for the first time! Bringing a new life into the world is a thrilling and life-changing experience. And it can also be overwhelming, especially if you are a first-time parent. You may have additional questions about how to raise your child in a Finnish context. In this guide, I will provide some tips based on information gotten from reviewsbird.fi to help you navigate the early stages of parenting in Finland.

Understanding the Finnish Healthcare System

One of the first things you should do as a new parent in Finland is to familiarize yourself with the healthcare system. Finland has a comprehensive and highly regarded healthcare system. You will be able to access a wide range of services for your child; including well-baby visits, immunizations, and specialist care if needed.

All the children in Finland are entitled to free healthcare, and you can access services through your local health center (terveysasema) or hospital. You will also receive a maternity grant (äitiysavustus) to help cover the costs of raising a child. Parents may be eligible for other benefits; such as parental leave (vanhempainvapaat) or a child benefit (lapsilisä).

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Registering Your Child

You will need to register your child with the local authorities once he or she is born. This can be done at the local registry office (maistraatti) or online. You will need to provide your child’s birth certificate, your identification, and your residence permit (if you are not a Finnish citizen).

Choosing a Name for Your Child

You have the freedom to choose any name for your child in the country. This is in consideration of it not already in use by someone else in Finland. It should not be offensive or inappropriate either. You can also choose a foreign name, but it must be approved by the Finnish Names Act (nimioikeus). It is a good idea to check with the local registry office to make sure a chosen foreign name is allowed.

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Enrolling Your Child in Daycare or Preschool

Most Finnish children start daycare or preschool (päiväkoti) at the age of three. You will need to find a daycare or preschool for your child to attend if you are planning to return to work or study after your child is born. There are several options available in Finland; including public, private, and international daycares and preschools.

You can find information about daycares and preschools in your area through your local municipality (kunta) or online. It is a good idea to start looking for a daycare or preschool early, as there may be waiting lists for popular facilities. A good idea is to ask other parents for recommendations or check online reviews.

Raising Your Child in the Finnish Language

Finnish is the official language of Finland. And your child must learn to speak, read, and write Finnish. Even if you are not a native Finnish speaker, you can still support your child’s language development in various ways. Read to them in Finnish, make them listen to Finnish music and stories, and speak the language with them as much as possible.

There are also many resources available to help you teach your child Finnish, including language courses, books, and online resources. You can also ask your child’s daycare or preschool for help or advice on how to support their language development.

Raising a child can be challenging, and it is important to have a support system in place. There are many resources available to help you as a Finnish parent; including parenting classes, support groups, and online resources. You can also seek support from family and friends, or consider hiring a babysitter or nanny if you need additional help.

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