This viral video shows what Finnish daycare is like and it’s proof that childcare can be both high-quality and affordable if we just prioritize it
In the U.S., more than 97% of married couples have at least one parent who works—and in 65% of families, both parents are employed. But taking care of a child is a full-time job, and it’s pretty much impossible to do that while also, you know, doing your full-time job, which is why many parents opt for daycare. That’s a fraught choice in the U.S., though, where the average cost of childcare has soared in recent years. Depending on the state where you live, daycare can cost well over $1,000 per month per child, meaning the cost can actually outpace the earnings of the working parent when more than one child needs care. And now, a viral video of Finnish daycare is showing Americans how much better things could be if we just prioritized parents and kids in this country.
The video was posted by Finnish mom Annabella Daily, who shares details of what daycare is like for her son.
“Here kids are encouraged to be independent and their educators are not called ‘teachers,’ but specialists in early childhood upbringing,” she explains.
Would you have your kids try this #daycarelife in #finland ? There’s 1 educator per 4 tots. Daycare starts after paid parental leave ends. #parentinghack #childcare #childcareproblems #childcarethings #daycareteacher #momdiaries #scandinavia #nordic #momhack #parentinghacks #momlifebelike♬ Makeba – Jain
Daily says kids in Finland attend daycare from ages one to six, where they’re encouraged to learn through play. They spend several hours outside each day and are also served warm, healthy meals and snacks, which they eat together at tables in a dining room.
“They also do art, music, and crafts,” she says.
One of the parts of Finnish daycare that will be especially foreign to American viewers is that kids are potty trained there “in their own time,” using tiny potties and sinks.
Oh, and here’s the kicker. In Finland, this high-quality care is considered “every parent’s and child’s right,” so it’s subsidized by the government. Parents pay a maximum of $325 per month. No, not per week. Per month.
This is a truly heart-wrenching reminder that things don’t have to be how they are in the U.S. This is what childcare looks like in a country that prioritizes and invests in parents and kids—and we could very well do that here. All it takes is supporting political organizations and politicians who work for policies that would invest in this kind of change. It’s not out of reach, but it takes widespread support that starts with many of us.