Objectives and accessibility
Pedagogical care (pedagogisk omsorg) in family day care homes (familjedaghem) is run by registered childminders in their own homes, looking after children aged one to twelve while their parents work or study. Pedagogical care is governed by Chapter 2 of the Education Act (Skollagen). Family day care homes are under the same regulatory control and evaluation as the preschool (förskola). The curriculum for the preschool does not apply, but it can nevertheless be used as a guidance document for preschool children in pedagogical care.
General guidelines for pedagogical care is issued by the Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket). In many municipalities, family day-care homes cooperate closely with preschools and the open preschool (where parents or child minders take part in preschool activities together with the children) (see open preschool at 4.5). Pedagogical care shall stimulate children’s development and learning and prepare the children for continuing learning.
Pedagogical care can be organised in different ways. Both municipalities and independent organisers can run pedagogical care activities. Independent organizers can for example be:
- a person providing pedagogical care in their own home
- one or several persons providing pedagogical care in specific premises
- solutions where several families take turns to care for the children in the different families’ homes or in specific premises
- independent organisers employing childminders in corporate form. Operations are generally run in the employees’ homes.
The most common variant which accounts for 93 percent of the different organisational forms, consists of activities that are mainly conducted in the home. The amount of children attending pedagogical care have decreased over several years. In 2019, 10 615 children were attending pedagogical care compared to 130 000 children in the middle of the 1990’s (statistics database of the Swedish National Agency for Education). The decrease can be explained by the further development of the preschool and leasure-time centres. The children that attend pedagogical care are mainly younger. Nearly half of the family day care homes have children groups with 5-6 children.
The fees for family day care are the same as for preschools.
Requirements for childminders and child ratio
According to the Education Act (Skollagen) the child groups in pedagogical care must be of suitable size and of suitable composition. There are no more exact requirements for the childminder and child ratio. In the recommendations from the National Agency for Education on pedagogical care it is mentioned that a suitable ratio depends on:
- the competence of the staff,
- age of the children,
- if children have other mother tongue than Swedish,
- if the children are in need for special support for their development,
- the size and design of the place,
- attendance time, and
- the relation of the staff’s own children and other children in the group.
There are no requirements on qualifications for staff working in family day care homes. In the Recommendations from the National Agency for Education on pedagogical care it is mentioned that it is important that the head of the family day care home offers the staff regularly professional development and pedagogical tutoring so that they can perform in the best possible way.