Childcare and coping of parents who study
If you are a student with a family, you can get help from municipal family workers, organisations and the church. Your educational institution may provide help with childcare during exams.
If you study full-time at a vocational institution, university of applied science or university, apply to the municipality for a place in day care for your child when the parental allowance period ends. You can also apply to a private day-care provider for a place in day care. You will then get support for the payments.
When you apply, state how many hours and on which days of the week your child needs care. The amount of care can be agreed on flexibly, according to your family’s needs.
If you need a babysitter only temporarily, the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare and the Family Federation of Finland supply babysitters for short-term childcare needs. As a parent, you will pay the babysitter for the work.
If you study at a university of applied sciences or at a university, find out whether your educational institution or student union provides a supervised play area. Short-term childcare in a supervised play area is possible for example for the duration of an exam. Some student unions also supply carers for children who have fallen ill and cannot go to the day-care centre.
If your child is not in municipal day care, you are entitled to the child home care allowance until the child turns three. You can also request that the child home care allowance is paid to a grandparent or some other adult caring for the child.
A parent always has the right to care for a sick child. If you study at a vocational institution or at a university of applied sciences, let the teachers whose lessons you miss know that your child is ill. At universities, you can negotiate with the teachers responsible for the courses how you can compensate for your absences from lectures.
No. The requirements of courses and qualification units must be met by all students regardless of their family circumstances. However, it is usually possible to negotiate the method of completing the studies. For example, if having a family makes it more difficult to participate in contact teaching, you can discuss with the teacher whether you can complete studies as independent study.
Vocational education offers alternative ways of demonstrating skills and competence. In higher education, alternative methods of completing studies may be assignments that you agree on individually with the teacher. It is important to contact your teacher in time and explain that you would like flexible arrangements because you have a family.
If you find it find it hard to combine a family and studying or worry that you cannot manage the situation, contact the student health services of your vocational institution immediately. If you study in the university or university of applied sciences you can use the services of the Finnish Student Health Service FSHS.
You are also entitled to support provided by the family workers of the municipal department of social services. You do not need to be a client of child welfare services to get family support services.
Child welfare services are available to any family if they are required for the child’s best interest. Child welfare staff assesses the situation together with the family and suggests suitable forms of support.
Associations, organisations and parishes organise activities, recreation, peer support and professional conversational therapy for families with children.
If you study at a university of applied sciences or at a university, find out whether your student union provides legal advice. If you are a member, the advice is free of charge.
In vocational education, you can contact the student union of your educational institution and the national student organisations.
The Regional State Administrative Agencies also monitor the lawfulness of the activities of education providers. You can appeal or request an amendment to the education provider’s action or file a complaint about it with the department of Education and culture at the Regional State Administrative Agency. You can find instructions for filing a complaint and appealing on the page How to make a complaint.
If you are harassed or treated inappropriately, talk to the contact person for harassment in your student union. You can ask the contact person for advice and help in dealing with your situation.