Mum Shares What Childcare Is Like In Norway And We're Honestly Trying Not To Cry

“Why am I seeing this seconds after paying over 1k for childcare this month?"
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A parent’s TikTok video about life in Norway has gone viral after she described just how enticing the country’s childcare offering is. And when we say enticing, we mean tempted-to-drop-everything-and-hop-on-a-plane-tomorrow levels of allure.

Krysta Alexa, an American mum-of-two who is currently living in Norway with her family, said it’s typical for children to attend a nursery/preschool – or barnehage – between the ages of one and five.

They’re either run privately or by the municipality, according to The Local – but either way, preschools can’t charge more than 3,050 kroner per month for a place. That’s £230 a month.

Alexa said that where she lives, she pays a maximum of 3,000 kroner a month – “and you only pay 11 out of the 12 months of the year,” she added in her video, which has garnered over 2 million views.

The average cost of a full-time nursery place for a child under two in Britain is just shy of £15,000 a year. In Norway, this looks more like £2,530.

Like in the UK, parents in Norway have to pay for their child’s food while attending preschool, however Alexa noted this is around $30 (£24) a month in a publicly owned nursery, and slightly more in a privately owned one.

“This also includes breakfast, lunch and snacks throughout the day,” she added. “Sometimes they even grill by bonfire and eat outside quite a lot. It’s super cute.”

Alexa, who has two children under two years old, said Norwegian childcare is “very affordable” and added parents can also get a sibling discount so “if you have multiple children, your second would get a 30% discount, and your third or subsequent children would get 100% discounts after that”.

Low income families also get discounted tuition, she said, and if you don’t get a spot in a preschool, you can get a stipend to help you cover the costs of paying for private childcare or taking time off work.

According to Aarhus University, the country applies the principle that no family should pay more than 6% of their total income to childcare.

Needless to say, parents were pretty fascinated (and a little bit enraged) by just how good the childcare offering is.

“Why am I seeing this seconds after paying over 1k for childcare this month,” said one parent in the comments section.

Another explained they were having to work from home with their two-year-old because daycare cost more than their mortgage.

The comments section was also full of people who couldn’t afford to have children – many of them in the US, although we know the UK faces a similar issue.

One commenter said: “Wow. If I had this available, I would have kids. We decided to be child free bc [because] we can’t afford it.”

“This is why my husband and I have decided that we won’t have children unless we’re able to make it out of the US,” another added.