The mom of two kids dishes out on the cost of childcare in Norway and how cheap it is compared to the US.
Parenting can be a joyful yet expensive stage in anyone's life, especially if you are raising a child in America. The country has expensive childcare that many parents struggle to find their way around. However, would-be-moms just might start wishing to raise their kids in Norway because of how affordable the childcare facilities are in the country. Krysta Alexa, an American mother of two kids under two years old who lives in Norway, routinely shares her life through small vlogs. The mom—who goes by @krystaalexa on TikTok—has made a startling revelation about Norwegian childcare through a viral video that has amassed over 2 million views.
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Alexa compared the expenses of raising two kids in a Scandinavian country to America and the difference in numbers just might raise your eyebrows. In her video, while taking a walk, Alexa explained to her viewers that the childcare system in Norway is quite different. “I am an American on maternity leave in Norway, and I also have one boy who's in kindergarten,” she begins. “Kindergarten or ‘barnehage’ in Norway is very different than it is in the States. It starts from when you're one year old up until you go to elementary school, which starts when you're six.”
She breaks down the kindergarten system and the cost of it plus how families have to pay different amounts based on where they live in the country. “So I, living in Bergen, pay a maximum amount of 3,000 krone per month which is about $275 US dollars, and you only pay 11 out of the 12 months of the year,” she exclaims. "Yes, that’s right! $275 a month. That’s less than $70 a week. That’s one meal for three on Grub Hub with tax, tips and fees!"
“Private kindergartens can charge a little bit more but not more than the cost of actual food. This also includes breakfast, lunch, and snacks throughout the day. Sometimes they even grill by bonfire and eat outside quite a lot. It's super cute,” she says, adding that Norwegian parents can pay extra per month to provide food for their kids who are enrolled in public kindergarten, which is around $30 extra a month.
That's not all because Alexa gets perks like sibling discounts for having multiple children in childcare. The second child gets a 30% discount whereas a person's third or subsequent children would get a 100% discount after that. “There is also discounted tuition for low-income families, and if for some reason you don't get a spot in a kindergarten, you can also get a stipend to help you cover the costs of arranging your own form of childcare or taking off from work. It is just overall fantastic,” Alexa adds.
In a typical "barnehage," the mom remarks about how kids mostly spend their time outdoors to connect with nature. “They put so much emphasis on being outside, connecting with nature, playing. They'll do bonfires. Go on excursions. A lot of kindergartens also have all of the kids napping outside in their strollers bundled up throughout the entire year, breathing in that fresh Norwegian air,” the mom concludes.
Everyone, especially Americans, was left in awe when they heard about the childcare costs in Norway compared to the unrealistic amounts they have to pay for American childcare. @warmmouth wrote: "The way the US has brainwashed people to think that this is impossible infuriates me." @user987622355 asked: "This is truly amazing. I’m assuming it is subsidized by the government? What does the tax system look like?"
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@vintage.vixen commented: "Wow. If I had this available, I would have kids. We decided to be child-free because we can’t afford it." @natalieceeisme added: "Literally going to work from home with my daughter until she’s 2 'cause daycare right now is more than my mortgage." According to the Nordic Council of Ministers, parents are entitled to a total of 12 months’ leave in connection with the birth and after the birth. These 12 months include the mother’s right to leave for up to 12 weeks during the pregnancy and six weeks of leave reserved for the mother after the birth as well.