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  • Writer's pictureHenriette Johnsen

Childcare facilities and schooling

In Denmark, all children from the age of 6 months, have the right to be looked after outside their home if needs be. Unlike some other countries, most parents work and as such, Denmark has a well-established public care system in place for children to support families in their everyday life.

Besides looking after the kids, childminders, nurseries and kindergartens, all heavily subsidised by the state, focus on creating a safe environment for children to thrive emotionally as well socially. They promote good health, development and learning. Furthermore, they aim at helping prevent any negative consequences of social heritage. If a child experiences any problems, be it socially, emotionally or in relation to learning, staff are trained to help the child and its family - the ethos is to help every family support their child in its development.

For children of non-Danish-speaking parents, attending a childcare facility is a great opportunity to learn to speak Danish and to embrace some of the Danish culture making the transition to school much easier. Often, children attend a kindergarten or pre-school in their local area and continue to be with some of the same children when school starts.

As a rule of thumb, children start school in the calendar year in which they turn 6. Kindergarten staff are experienced at assisting children become ready for school.

You can read more about schooling in this blogpost from August 2019.

Throughout all these institutions, the concept of community is important. Children are raised to be socially and emotionally aware of other people and how their actions and words affect these. Lots of work is put into supporting vulnerable children and into breeding empathic children capable of supporting themselves and others emotionally.

We all know that when people, be it adults or children, are around each other, conflicts arise. One way of supporting children in their social and emotional development is to help them with conflict solving and to encourage them to solve their conflicts themselves rather than solve conflicts for them.

Therefore, lots of energy is put into helping children word their experience of the situation, helping them listen to the other party and to coming up with ideas as to how to make amends, prevent a similar situation from happening again as well as pick up the friendship after the incident.

For some, this may seem as the adults are dodging their responsibility; but they are helping children to better navigate the world and enabling them of gradually becoming verbally skilled to be independent problem and conflict solvers.

Many, if not most, nurseries and kindergartens have a parent-staff-association where democratically elected parents help set the course for the institution. Many institutions have come-together-arrangements such as "Granny days", "Christmas decoration days", "Outside playarea maintenance days" and the like. These are good opportunities to meet other parents and children. It is also custom to invite your child's friends around for a play date, either over the weekend or take them home with you when you pick up your own child.

Kindergarden children


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