Relocating to Finland with children

The settling-in of the family of a foreign employee is important for the success of the relocation. Family concerns are also one of the most common reasons for refusing to relocate. What should be taken into account in the relocation of a family?

Residence permits and registrations

In addition to the employee, also their family members need residence permits. In some cases, obtaining and legalizing certificates make the process more complex. There are also differences in the definition of family between countries.

Read more: Residence permits for the employee’s family

If the family arrives in Finland later than the employee, their registrations can take much longer. In this case, it is important to make sure that the travel insurance is valid until the family becomes covered by Finnish social security.

Those covered by Finnish health care have access to “neuvola”, a free child health clinic. The Finnish neuvola system is a positive surprise for many, as is the maternity package and other Finnish parental benefits.

School search

Most foreign employees want their children to attend an international school in Finland. However, they are difficult to get into as there are very few places. The language requirements are high; some schools require proficiency in Finnish and others very good proficiency in English. In some cases, some of the family’s children speak English better than their siblings, so they may not get to the same school. There are also some schools that can be accessed with fewer language skills if you are willing to pay high tuition fees.

If the family is staying in Finland for a longer time, our consultants recommend considering a school that prepares for a Finnish language school, which is easier to access. Of course, studying in Finnish is not the best option if the family intends to stay in the country only for a short time.

It comes as a surprise to some families that when they move to Finland, a child moves into the Finnish school system; Even if a child has started school in their home country earlier than at the age of 7, they will still go to the Finnish school according to their age level. It is also important to note that not all schools are possible to start in the middle of the school year. In some cases, the employee moves to Finland first and the family after the end of the school year.

Read more about the Finnish education system here!

A daycare place, on the other hand, is usually easier to find, as there are many private English-language daycare centers, especially in the Helsinki area.

Home search

Proximity to schools or kindergartens is usually an important criterion when looking for a home for a family. The safety of the residential area is also particularly important for families; Although it is relatively safe everywhere in Finland, families with children often want an area that is certainly good. Otherwise, families’ expectations for housing vary. It has come as a surprise to some that children often have their own rooms in Finland, as this is not common in some countries.


Finding suitable hobbies helps the children to adjust in Finland. There are also English-speaking hobby groups in the largest cities, but on the other hand, participation in Finnish-speaking groups helps to learn the language. Many municipalities also organize free clubs for children who are not in kindergarten. Our relocation consultants have a comprehensive knowledge of the hobby opportunities in different cities and help families find the most suitable hobby groups for their children.

What about the spouse?

In addition to the children, it is also important to take care of the settling-in of the employee’s spouse – read about our spouse support program here!


Do you need support in relocating your employees to Finland? Contact us!


More on this topic:

Foreign employee and first child in Finland

Expat Insight – Relocation and Pregnancy

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