Sweden consistently tops the list of UNICEF’s annual ranking of 31 rich countries that have the most family friendly policies and best child welfare programs. The recognition focuses on the support that governments provide to ensure that the children of their nation will have better, if not the best start in life and opportunities for a bright future.
UNICEF considers family friendly policies matter, especially for parents working parents who have to maintain the right balance between their employment obligations and responsibilities to provide their children with the best and safest environment in which to grow and develop.
Sweden’s Family-Friendly Policies to Help Parents Provide Proper Care for Their Children
Since about 80 to 85% of parents living in Sweden are fully employed, the government makes certain that children will still receive the best care from the moment they are born. Parents are expected to take active parts in nurturing and raising their children. This is regardless of whether their union is sanctified by a marriage contract or otherwise.
To help parents carry out their duties and responsibilities in caring for their children, both mothers and fathers can take paid parental leaves for a total of 240 days each for every child born into the family.
They have the option to take the paid leave at the same time; or for the father to take leave after the mother completes hers. Although paid parental leaves becomes available whenever a child is born into the family, parents also have the option to save some for contingent events; such as when needing to take a paid parental leave to look after a sick child. However, the 480 days total per child must be claimed before the child turns eight which is usually after the child has completed his or her first year in school.
Moreover, all medicare and health care costs from point of prenatal checkups, to child delivery and through every child’s growing up years are provided free.
On top of those benefits, Swedish parents receive a monthly child care allowance for every child under their care, for as long as they are living together as husband and wife. Single parents are entitled to receive half of the current child care allowance afforded to Swedish parents, which at present is stipulated at SEK1,250 per couple or SEK625 per single parent. Entitlement to child care allowances are automatically provided after the first month a baby is born until he or she reaches the age of 16.
However, in light of all these parental and child care benefits, all parents in Sweden must take their parenting duties and responsibilities seriously. Mainly because the Swedish government, through the Department of Social Welfare and Child Care Services, reserves the right to take away a child or children from parents who have been remiss in providing their offsprings with the proper care and protection they need. This is regardless of the nationality, culture and upbringing of every parent acting as guardian over their children, while living in Sweden.
Under Swedish laws, every child is a full citizen and therefore have inalienable rights that protect not only their lives but also to attain proper education provided free by the government, proper upbringing, sufficient healthcare and other factors that can influence or impact their lives as future adults in Sweden.
This is probably why baby monitors are essential to every parent in Sweden, as they need to make sure their newborns are safe and secure against any possible harm. In fact, babyvakt kamera or baby monitors with camera are the most popular in Sweden.
After all, in just a few months time babies will learn to sit up and crawl, and even try to climb out of their crib so they can explore things on their own. A baby monitor camera can very helpful when parents have to do some chores in another room.