A Finnish daycare's approach to childcare has left many American parents in awe, according to a viral video by content creator Annabella Daily.
In Finland, daycares are an integral part of society, viewed as necessary for maintaining a robust workforce. This perspective starkly contrasts with the U.S., where over 100,000 Americans reportedly stay home each month due to inadequate childcare, costing the economy approximately $122 billion annually.
The video showcases the Finnish daycare’s emphasis on independent learning and play. Children as young as one are enrolled and remain until about six years old.
The facility, described as encouraging independence, refers to its educators not as teachers but as 'specialists in early childhood upbringing.'
The Finnish approach
Each child has a small bed for naps, and the daycare provides warm, nutritious meals and snacks daily.
The children eat together at small tables, engage in arts, crafts, and music, and spend ample time outdoors. Additionally, facilities for potty training, including child-sized toilets and sinks, are available.
What particularly stunned the American audience was the cost of such comprehensive childcare - a maximum of $325 per month, with slightly higher fees for private daycare.
The Finnish approach to childcare is seen as a right for every parent and child, reflecting a broader societal commitment to early childhood education and care (ECEC).
The parental leave policy in Finland further supports this system. Parents are entitled to 320 working days of leave, approximately 14 months, with each parent eligible for 160 days.
'A portion of this leave can be transferred between parents. After parental leave, families have the option of municipal or private daycare, supplemented by allowances from the Social Insurance Institution (KELA).
This holistic approach to early childhood care and education, part of Finland's broader educational system, ensures continuous development and learning for children before they reach school age.
The video has elicited strong reactions from viewers, especially in the U.S., where childcare is often prohibitively expensive. Comments like “cries in American mom” and astonishment at the affordability reflect the stark differences between the two countries' childcare systems.
See the Instagram video of the Finnish daycare and judge for yourself, right here below: