The sounds of Swedish Open Daycare

Listen to the wonderful sounds of an Open Daycare in Sweden while you read

Herman, Olivia and I go to Open Daycare almost every week. It’s a life-saver for us.

Open Daycare is free. It’s targeted to small kids who haven’t yet started real daycare. The goal is to create the most stimulating and fun environment for the children, while offering parents a place to connect with their peers. Open Daycare operates on a drop-in basis, with no registering.

We have two Open Daycares within a ten minute walk from our house. So we drop-in whenever we want to go sing some songs, play around, drink some coffee, or paint and draw. In some communities Open Daycares are connected with social services and maternity health clinics.

The first Open Daycare opened in 1972. In 1991, there were over 1,600 Open Daycares in Sweden. The number has come down drastically since then. In 2004, there were less than 500.

We were there yesterday for three hours. There were around 20 parents and their noisy kids.

9 Replies to “The sounds of Swedish Open Daycare”

  1. “Open Daycare is free”
    Nah, its payed by taxes. This is yet another activity I´ve been putting a lot of money into. I´ll probably never use it. Glad you enjoy it.

    1. Roger,

      Do you pay taxes that go into building roads? Me too, but you know what? I don’t have a car. See my point? Well after reading this point, now you know you are contributing to a good cause! As you’ll see in a couple of days, when I publish an interview with an expert from Försäkringkassa, all of these child and parental benefits are strongly contributing to Sweden’s relatively high reproduction rate when compared to other European countries. Without this higher reproduction rate, the economy would suffer ever more. So, see…..you actually are benefiting from the taxes you pay. Some people look at taxes and think that money is only coming out of their pocket, as if it’ll never, ever return. It’s just bad economics.

  2. First, this is a brilliant idea. Made me miss my kid and my paternity leave much sitting here at the office.

    Second, I understand that it is easier on some level to justify road investments, in that you can’t judge a road as long as it doesn’t crumble. But, come on Roger, in this day and age, Sweden is only going to get ahead and stay ahead by investing in people, in its children, in its human capital, so to speak. And as soft as it may seem, raising kids who feel safe is a big step in that direction.

  3. “Do you pay taxes that go into building roads?”
    Hey, do you want me to ask: do you want to raise taxes and have free bread and milk in stores.

    “….by investing in people, in its children, in its human capital….”
    Sure, but there must be a line somewhere. Do you think we should have free gym access through our tax bill as well? It would be investing in people and their health.
    People seem to go to private gyms and work even though they have to pay 2-500kr/month to look after their health. People who want to go to Open Daycare could buy a membership or pay for each visit. I definitely think that most parents could afford 200kr/month membership to their favorite (probably only in Sthlm you’ll find 2 within 10min walk) Open Daycare.

    I definitely believe that taxes are necessary in many ways. But, supporting Borås Symphony Orchestra & Open Daycare is two things, among many, I don’t find absolutely necessary to pay by taxes.

  4. I guess we just have different lines. I actually think supporting a symphony is up for debate, but I can’t complain about any support for children.

    So that’s where I stand – services for children are all good. Services for adults, probably depends.

    And while parental leave gets painted in terms of parents getting something, it really is the kids.

  5. If my tax money goes to an orchestra so they can lower their ticket prices then it’s all good to me, it makes a form of culture available to people who could not normally afford it. Also, if tax funding was cut completely from orchestras we would probably end up with just a single one in stockholm reserved for only the wealthiest, and the rest of us would have to settle for cheaper forms of cultures. Sounds pretty segregated and depressing to me.

    Btw, love the sound from the open day care, I’m on daddy leave with my daughter now and the place we go to is fantastic, being able to go there after a sleepless night is worth every tax krona I’ve payed in my life.

    1. “being able to go there after a sleepless night is worth every tax krona I’ve payed in my life.” I couldn’t agree with you more Stefan.

  6. Live and let live. I have paid high taxes for almost two decades now. Last year, I paid roughly 530 000 kr in direct taxes which I guess is slightly above average. But like most Swedes, I have also benefited a lot during the years, particularly when I was younger and when I got children.
    Sure, there are things I would be happy not to pay for, like excess defense equipment (i.e. expensive toys for angry boys), the Royal Court, football arenas, etc, etc. But what a narrowminded, boring, petty and tightfisted society we would get if everyone just counted their kronor – what you pay and what you get back. In the end, if others are happy and thrive, I will too. If there is anything I find hard to deal with here in Sweden, it is (dum)snålhet. The sense of stability and safety in a society is worth a lot. If that comes undone, watch out below.

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