All infants and small children in Denmark can be accommodated at childcare during the daytime. The day-care service normally covers all children from 24 weeks to 10 years of age (up to and including 3rd Grade). Every child is guaranteed a childcare placement within three months of application, in accordance with the national childcare guarantee scheme. This includes newcomers.
Most childcare placements are at childcare institutions. There are also municipality-run childminder services for the under threes, where children are looked after in the childminder's home. If parents opt for private childcare instead of a municipal childcare placement, the municipality pays parents a subsidy to cover part of the cost of private childcare services. There are a very small number of private childcare services for which the municipality cannot offer subsidies. All childcare institutions are required to prepare teaching plans so that parents are aware of the institution's aims for their educational work with the children.
The cost of childcare is fixed by the Municipal Council but parents are never asked to pay more than 25% of the total cost of a childcare placement. The price will often depend on whether the institution provides food.
After-school care (Skolefritidsordning or SFO)
Children can attend an after-school scheme (most often called SFO) up to and including 3rd or 4th Grade. Here, children can play, do their homework and participate in a number of leisure activities. SFO opening hours vary.’ If you want a place at SFO for your child, you must apply through the municipality.
A fee is charged to cover some of the costs, although you may be eligible for a free placement. To apply for a free placement, contact the municipality. There are also a number of youth clubs in the municipalities for children who have outgrown SFO.