Benefits of raising a family in Sweden
You have probably heard of Sweden before, and you have no doubt heard of their two most iconic symbols, IKEA and ABBA. Well let’s clear some things up a little. Sweden is so much more than pop group and anger inducing furntiture. The Swedes have cultivated a society unlike most in the world. Given the current uncertainties of global events and fluctuations, no-one would blame you for stressing where you should raise a new family. Well, here are some tips as to why Sweden is one of the greatest places to think about relocating, as seen by me.
Free courses & lessons
In Sweden there is a strong emphasis on learning and educating the correct way. In respects to parenting, there are numerous local courses in every city and county that aid you in facets of parenting that would otherwise be unknown to fathers and mothers. These courses range from breathing techniques for mothers to stress management for fathers. The greatest thing of all, is that the classes do not stop post delivery. In fact there are classes for all ages and groups you can attend all year round.
Long parental leave
Sweden has become quite famous of late due to their unreal parental leave program. Each parent is entitled to a total of 480 days of paid parental leave. Yes. 480 days! 390 of those days are set at 80% of your monthly pay which relieves financial stress. On top of all this, it is MANDATORY that fathers take an immediate 10 day leave once baby is born, and a further 90 days up until the child is 12 years old. This seems unreal, and socially irresponsible, but stay tuned as to why it works.
The Swedish government knows that it is not cheap and care-free raising children, so they set out to help wherever possible. The folks upstairs decided that it wasn’t enough to give you time with your child, but to compensate you for said time with some extra pay to help you with necessities. This comes in the form of a 1,050Kr (USD118) cheque a month. This covers your child’s food, diapers and basic clothing. A truly momumental aid for working class families.
Schooling in Sweden is completely. 100% free. For everybody. The general thinking when this is mentioned is that these free schools are low grade, underfunded and ill equipped to handle your child’s needs. Well guess what, that is not the case. In fact, Swedish schooling is universally fantastic. The teachers earn a great wage, thus encouraging them to feel inspired daily. The children are fed for free each day. And there are strict governmental measures for school quality that are heavily enforced.
Amazing delivery process
Delivering your child in other nations can be a harrowing experience for most. But not in Sweden. In fact, the majority of the time (depending on the cities population) the father, mother and new born are treated to an endless stay in a private room. This means that you can leave on your terms. This helps the new parents to feel comfortable and ready to tackle the daunting task at hand. There is great education on hand for managing the next steps of childcare and you can do this at your own pace. The cost of this, is of course, free. However, the father will have to pay a small fee for breakfasts, dinners and suppers.
The employer in Sweden is obligated to emphathise with the new parents. In fact, it is illegal for them to deny your request for your parental leave. Most fathers will take either a full 90 days off of their mandated time, or divide those days in a fashion that allow them to only work 3 days a week, ensuring them a 4 day weekend for an entire year. Their employer (has to) understands and accepts this. It is a truly unique situation where the government subsidises employers for this and leaves everybody smiling at the end.
Free (almost) healthcare
Healthcare is a huge issue, but not here in Sweden. In fact, should your child be injured to the point of scarring, the government will pay them an amount of money for ‘lifestlye damages’. It’s true. Additionally, heading to your doctor for a check up or healthcare needs won’t run your family an inconvienent bill or place stress on you financially, which allows you to focus on other lifestlye needs.
Free child care check up
Upon birth, your child is assigned a medical carer from the community who is responsible for monthly check ups and progress reporting. This allows you as a young family to build trust and a bond with an outsider who watches your child grow for up to 5 years and informs you of abnormalities should they arise. This program charts your childs growth and development whilst giving you a familiar point of contact for information 24/7.
Sweden is famous for their, sometimes over the top, socialistic equal rights of all peoples. In the case of being a parent, it is not strange at all for the father to stay at home the entire 480 days or even longer should the mother wish to go back to work. There is no social divide of sexes when it comes to being the bread winner. Why would there be when everyone eats the same bread (per se).
How is all of this possible? How can this be funded? And who pays for all of this madness? Well, the people do. Sweden has quite high taxes, and people are painfully aware of this. However, what they are also aware of, is their social duties to one another. The general consensus is that we are in a fully functioning society that cares for one another and when the time arrives, you too shall be cared for. This is a truly incredible notion and one that is rare to see in today’s global setting.
Good? or Good?