Couples with small children are always concerned about what their expat lifestyle will mean for their children. Moving to a new country is a culture shock for anyone and although children are known to be resilient, it’s good to know you’re moving to a country where they will be happy. If you’re immigrating to Sweden, you’ll be pleased to know you have chosen the right country to bring up your children.
In a recent survey conducted by HSBC, Sweden was rated as the best nation for a family to raise children overseas. The issues considered when making this decision were the expat family’s social life, the happiness of the parents the quality of the childcare, schools and health services and the overall quality of life.
So what is it about Sweden that makes it the ideal country to raise happy children?
Why Sweden is an ideal country for children
If you have a child in Sweden, parents get 480 days of paid parental leave, with 60 of them reserved for the father. This allows both the mother and the father to care for the baby while keeping their careers going. The government also provides a monthly allowance to parents per child and gives adults the right to reduce their working hours until their children turn eight. As a result children enjoy quality time with their parents during their most important formative years.
Quality of childcare
Respondents rated the quality of the childcare and education very highly – with 75% of respondents rating it as better than their home country. Gender equality is taught from a young age and the cost of the educational facilities was stated as very reasonable. The exact cost of childcare varies depending on where you live in Sweden, but it is capped by the state at 1,260 kronor a month for the first child.
While many people think Sweden is an expensive place to visit a study by Numbeo, a global database of reported consumer prices, rated it cheaper than many European countries, including the UK, France and the rest of Scandinavia.
A good education
If you become residents of Sweden, your children are entitled to free education between the ages of 7 and 16. The quality of the state-run education is regarded as the same standard as other European nations. The language of instruction is Swedish, which does result in some expat parents choosing to send their children to the International schools where subjects are taught in English
The great outdoors
Sweden has a beautiful countryside and children are encouraged to explore it even when the weather is poor. The motto of Swedish parents is “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing”. During the summer months, children enjoy the long daylight hours playing in the park and practicing sports ranging from horse riding to swimming and kayaking. In winter the sun can set early in the afternoon, but children are still encouraged to play outside. During the winter, children enjoy cross-country or downhill skiing and snowboarding. Ice skating on the frozen lakes is also very popular with both children and parents.
Other child friendly nations in the top 10 include:
- New Zealand
- The Netherlands
If you’re busy planning on immigrating to Sweden or any other country and need advice about your financial migration, contact us today and we’ll help you on the path to financial freedom in your new home.
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