Funding of Kindergartens

Published under: Solberg's Government

Publisher Ministry of Education and Research

The government’s goal is to make kindergarten available to all children regardless of their parents’ financial situation.

Public grants to kindergartens are financed over the municipalities’ unrestricted income (framework funding and tax revenues). It is up to the individual municipality to decide how much funding will be allocated to kindergartens via the municipal budget.

The municipalities provide grants to approved, non-municipal kindergartens (privately owned, county-owned and state-owned) and all kindergartens are to be treated equally when distributing funding.

The government’s goal is to make kindergarten available to all children regardless of their parents’ financial situation. 

New funding scheme for non-municipal kindergartens

New regulations on funding to non-municipal kindergartens were formally approved on 9 October 2015. These regulations still employ as a main principle that grants are to be calculated based on the expenditures of the municipal kindergartens in each municipality. However, the calculation of compensation for pension and capital costs has been changed to promote better alignment between the costs of non-municipal kindergartens and the municipal funding they receive. The new regulations entered into force on 1 January 2016.

The scheme is designed to provide all children in the same municipality with access to a satisfactory programme, regardless of whether they attend a municipal or a non-municipal kindergarten. 

Grants to non-municipal kindergartens are calculated based on the average expenditures of the municipal kindergartens in the individual municipality. Starting in 2015, the basis for calculating the grant has been changed from the municipality’s budget to the municipality’s accounts for the two years preceding the grant year. This change entails that the grant will be calculated once a year, which will make funding more predictable for non-municipal kindergartens.

Non-municipal kindergartens are entitled to a grant that equals 100 per cent of the public funding allocated to municipal kindergartens. 

Parents’ fees

The maximum price for 2016 is NOK 2 655 per month and NOK 29 205 per year.  

National minimum requirement for reduced parents’ fees   

The government has made kindergarten more affordable for low-income families and introduced an improved social profile for parents’ fees. The application of income-based differentiation in parents’ fees enables more families to take advantage of placement in kindergartens.

A national minimum requirement for reduced parents’ fees for low-income families was introduced on 1 May 2015. The fee for the first child is not to exceed six per cent of the family’s total capital and personal income, with a ceiling set at the maximum established parents’ fee. Current provisions on sibling discounts are being continued. Thus, the rates for the second, third, and additional children are 70 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively, of the parents’ fee for the first child. 

Free core time in kindergarten for three, four and five-year-olds from low-income families

A scheme providing 20 hours of free kindergarten a week (core time) for four and five-year-olds from low-income families was introduced on 1 August 2015. The income ceiling for the 2015–2016 school year is NOK 405 000. The Storting has approved an expansion of the scheme to include three-year-olds as well from 1 August 2016. The amendment to the regulation for parents’ fees was approved by the King in Council of State on 29 April 2016.

The income ceiling for 2016–2017 school year will be NOK 417 000.

regulations.