The Finnish care system is great, but does it take children from all families into account?
In Berlin the school summer vacation began in midsummer week. On the last day of school, I picked up my child from the school yard a little earlier than usual.
The suitcases were already packed, and the long-awaited month-long holiday in Finland was waiting for us. After the lockdown winter and spring, the feeling couldn’t have been lighter. After a year of separation, we would see relatives and friends, get to the sauna and the lake!
I was happy to ask my child’s classmate what she was going to do in the summer. He replied that he was “here” all summer – meaning school yard. Well, there are nice excursions, crafts, sports, games here. Spend a fun summer, I wish you might have swallowed a little.
In my own little bubble, I had forgotten that not everyone gets on vacation when school runs out.
In Berlin Primary school students from the first to the sixth grade receive “day care” at school before and after school, just like in Finland, the youngest school children in the mornings and afternoons. If necessary, the schoolchild will also receive a place of care from the school for the duration of the school holiday.
The school can spend up to 12 hours a day, from morning to evening. Many are brought to school more than an hour before school begins.
After the school day, the homework, games, games and hobbies are done in the treatment. For arts and sports activities, it is not necessary to move to another address after the school day.
At least my own child is having a good time at school after school. The guys are there – you don’t have to be alone after school.
A certificate of parental working hours is required for the right to care. Thus, the service cannot be used for child-free leave, as was recently suspected in Finland as a motive for people bringing children to kindergarten in the summer.
The system is not the same in all German Länder. The area of the former GDR is accustomed to the idea that mothers are also at work and that society then takes care of the children.
In Finland I have heard politicians say that our day care is the best in the world. That’s great.
But does the Finnish system take into account at least enough atypical employment relationships where there is not much leave, single parents, families who do not have a safety net living nearby and those families where the time of parental leave cannot be chosen?
I don’t know yet how the summer at school has gone. On the bulletin board, the summer program looked fun.
The author is HS’s Berlin correspondent.