Moderate increase in household payments


In January 2017, the average monthly household payment for a kindergarten place was NOK 2 374. In addition, the kindergartens charged NOK 289 in fees for food and additional expenses, according to new figures for Household payments for kindergarten.

In January 2017, a one-year full-time place in a Norwegian kindergarten, including food fees and additional expenses, cost on average NOK 29 298. This is 0.9 per cent higher than the same month in 2016. The new average numbers are calculated from a comprehensive dataset, which includes all kindergartens and all municipalities in Norway. This provides us with a good snapshot of average payments for kindergarten in Norway. See the report “Foreldrebetaling i barnehager, januar 2017” (in Norwegian) for more details.

Expansion of free core time

The maximum rate showed an increase of 2.8 per cent in the period. Since most households pay the maximum rate, this would increase the average payment by more than 0.9 per cent, all other things being equal. Two main factors lower the increase in the mean payment. Firstly, the government expanded the policy of free places for households with a low income, to also include 3-year-olds, in addition to 4 and 5-year-olds. Secondly, the spreading of information about the reform may have contributed to a lower increase. The reason for this is that the latest policies for reduction in payment are relatively new, and need to be applied for. 

Determination of household payment

The new national policy for household payments came into force on 1 May 2015. Under the new rules, no household should pay more than six per cent of their total taxable income for a kindergarten place, up to the maximum rate. As of January 2017, the maximum monthly rate was NOK 2 730, which means that all households with a total income below NOK 500 500 are entitled to a reduced rate.

Free core time in the kindergarten was introduced for 4 and 5-year-olds from households with a low income from 1 August 2015. Exactly one year later, the policy was expanded to also include 3-year-olds. Free core time entitles children to 20 hours of free kindergarten each week. If a child only uses the kindergarten for 20 hours or less in a given week, then no payment is due. On 1 August 2016, the maximum total income was set to NOK 417 000. In addition, there is moderation of payment for siblings. For the second child, the household should pay no more than 70 per cent of the rate of the “most expensive” child, while for a third child or more, the rate should be no more than 50 per cent.