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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice


4.Early childhood education and care


Last update: 20 March 2024

1 Place guarantee to ECEC

In Norway, the statutory right to a place in a publicly subsidised kindergarten for every child entered into force in 2009 (Kindergarten Act). The entitlement to a place in a kindergarten is guaranteed for all children from the age of 1 year, until then paid parental leave is available. Children who turn 1 year old no later than the end of August, are entitled to a place by August during the year in which they apply for a place. Children who turn 1 year old in September, October, or November are upon application entitled to a kindergarten place by the end of the month in which they turn 1 year old. The municipalities must secure enough kindergarten places to meet demand.

2 Affordability

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) is publicly subsidised, but not free of charge. See Chapter 3.1 Funding in ECEC.

The fees paid by parents or guardians are strictly regulated and are set each year in the state budget. The fee is limited to NOK 3000 per child per month per 1 January 2024 (Euro 262, February 29, 2024), and to NOK 2000 (Euro 174, February 29, 2024) per month as of 1 August 2024 and to NOK 28000 (Euro 2437, February 29, 2024) per household from January 2024.  Parents or guardians with more than one child in kindergarten are also entitled to a sibling discount of minimum 30%, from 1 August 2023 the third sibling is free if the siblings live together and attend kindergartens in the same Municipality. It is also free for children in Finnmark and Northern Troms These regulations apply to both private and public kindergarten and are the same for centre-based and home-based settings. From the age of two, children from low-income families are legally entitled to 20 hours per week of ECEC free of charge.

In addition, municipalities can set up their own schemes to reduce fees paid by parents or guardians.