If you plan to bring your child/ren with you to LiU, there are two things you need to do to prepare:
Step 1: Contact LiU’s International Office and let us know you are bringing children. We can help you with tips on finding accommodation and make sure you know who to contact next. It is very important that you inform us if your children are coming with you, especially if you are a fee-paying or scholarship student.
Step 2: Research your needs and responsibilities regarding childcare in your situation. For instance, school is compulsory in Sweden from 6 years of age, for younger children you need to check eligibility and current waiting times if you need childcare.
Step 3: Make an appointment with Linköping or Norrköping municipality for when you arrive. You will receive contact information from our International Office. Your contact person at the municipality can help you arrange day-care or school that works for you and your child.
If you have children, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the Swedish school system. Some schools have a long queue, so it is recommended that you apply for a place at a school in Linköping or Norrköping before you arrive in Sweden. You can read more about the Swedish school system at the Swedish National Agency for Education’s website (Skolverket).
The Swedish education system in brief
Childcare for children from 1 to 5-years-old
Once you have been admitted, paid your tuition fee (if applicable) and arranged for accommodation, you can apply for childcare in the city you are moving to (if childcare is required). Applications are made on the municipality's website, Linköping or Norrköping.
In Sweden, the amount of childcare you can receive depends on what activities both parents are involved in such as work, study, parental leave and unemployment. Childcare is heavily subsidized, but not free. Fees usually range from 400-1500 SEK per month and child.
From the age of 1-year-old children can attend nursery school in Sweden (childcare before this age is only available privately and is not common in Sweden due to the generous parental leave system). There is a queuing system for childcare placement and the rules on how soon you can apply and when you can expect a placement will depend on what municipality you will live in. You will need to research and choose preferred childcare providers/neighbourhoods in your application.
Children under 5 years of age may alternatively attend an open preschool (Öppna förskolan), where children and parents attend together for free. You are responsible for the care of your child, but the preschool has trained educators who direct the group in activities such as singing nursery songs, story time and morning or afternoon tea (fika). Open preschools provide lots of toys and fun activities for the children and chance for parents to make new contacts.
School is compulsory and free in Sweden. To apply you will have to have arranged accommodation first as you will need a registered address in Sweden. Parents should note that homeschooling is illegal.
Six-year-olds in Sweden attend a transitional class between nursery school and primary (elementary) school called preschool class (förskolaklass). This is the first year of compulsory education in Sweden.
Some Swedish schools have international classes for children between the ages of 7 and 16. The child is usually placed into an international class for a year to learn Swedish and then transferred to a regular Swedish class. If you are staying in Sweden for less than 3 years, your child is not guaranteed a place at an international school. In this case, your child may need to attend regular classes in Swedish.