Family and children

In Denmark, families are offered childcare and public schools

In Denmark, families are offered childcare and public schools

Read more and self-services

If you have been granted a residence permit to work or follow a higher educational programme in Denmark, your spouse, registered partner or cohabiting partner, as well as children under the age of 18 who are living at home with you are also eligible for residence permits.

However, you must document that you have at your disposal the equivalent of DKK 25,000 per family member. Your family members must be able to support themselves, and you must live together in Denmark at the same address.

Your spouse/partner is allowed to work full-time for the entire period that his/her residence permit is valid.

If you are in doubt about the rules, or if you want further information, please contact the Danish Immigration Service. The Danish Immigration Service and the Danish Agency for Labour Retention and International Recruitment have gathered information about obtaining residence and work permits at an official web portal about immigration rules, Newtodenmark.dk.

Experience shows that your partner feels more settled in Denmark, if he/she has a job. A job can give your partner a sense of belonging to Denmark, as well as help them build his/her own local social networks. If your partner is an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen, your partner does not need a permit to work in Denmark. If not, he/she is allowed to work full-time for the period his/her residence permit is valid.

Workindenmark can help your accompanying partner with the job search.

Your partner can also upload his/her CV to Workindenmark's CV bank and use the section Find a Job.

Your partner can participate in Workindenmark’s job search seminars for international jobseekers, in which he/she can learn how to write an application and CV which appeals to Danish employers.

Danish companies with many international employees also offer counselling for accompanying partners and may have their own job banks or networks that you and your partner can use. In connection with your job search, you may be required to have your qualifications officially evaluated.

Your partner can improve his/her job opportunities in Denmark by participating in Workindenmark’s job search seminars held in a number of cities in Denmark.

As part of the seminars, participants will get an introduction to job search resources on workindenmark.dk as well as an opportunity to have a consultation regarding cv and job possibilities in Denmark.

Children in Denmark receive 10 years of compulsory education starting in August in the year in which they turn six years old. This primary and lower secondary education consists of a one-year pre-school class, nine years of primary and lower secondary education and an optional tenth form.

Most Danish children attend municipal primary and lower secondary school, which is free of charge. But there are also a huge number of private and independent schools where parents pay tuition fees.

Many families who come to Denmark for professional reasons prefer to send their children to a private international school, most of which are situated in or around the large cities. Some of these have waiting lists.

After primary and lower secondary school, children can choose between a number of free, public secondary education programmes that prepare them for higher education.

An overview of the international basic schools in Denmark is available from the website of the Ministry for Children, Education and Gender quality.

All children in Denmark are guaranteed a place in a childcare institution. Almost all Danish families use child daycare.

Options for childcare consist of day nurseries for children 0-3 years old, kindergartens for children 3-6 years old, and pre-school/after school centres for children 6-10 years old. In addition, there is the option of local childcare, in which children are cared for in private homes.

The opening hours of the childcare facilities are in most cases Monday-Thursday 6:30 am to 5 pm, and Fridays until 4 pm.

Childcare is financed partly by the parents, partly by the municipality. Prices differ somewhat depending on the municipality and the type of childcare. Prices for children 0-3 years old are approx. up to DKK 3900 per month including meals, kindergartens often cost less.

Most childcare services are municipal, but there are a great many privately owned facilities as well, and in a few of them the spoken language is English. To register, please contact the respective municipality, and do it as soon as possible. A waiting list is not unusual.

You can sign up for municipal childcare services and deregister your child digitally, by using the self-service (click Start).

Please do as follows:

  • Log on digital placement service (digital pladsanvisning) via Borger.dk
  • When you apply for a childcare service, you must consider the date from when you need childcare
  • Log on with NemID
  • Click on the name of the child
  • You can now choose to sign up for childcare, deregister you child or apply for a free place
  • You will then get a receipt, which you can save or print out

Get help filling in the form

In Denmark, some families choose to have an au pair. Au pairs can be granted a residence permit in order to function as au pairs with host families in Denmark, if certain conditions are fulfilled.

You will find extensive information on the rules for hiring and employing au pairs and a link to an application on the official web portal about immigration rules, Newtodenmark.dk.

Danish universities and other institutions of higher education are public and free of charge. They offer a range of opportunities for international students. All programmes are internationally recognised, and more than 500 programmes are taught in English.

To gain admission, you must meet both academic and language requirements. Each institution is responsible for its own admissions. Requirements vary from programme to programme.

A residence permit to study in Denmark can be granted to students who gain admission to higher educational programmes.

Read more about programmes at Studyindenmark.dk, managed by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education:

Overview of the Danish Education System by the Ministry of Children and Education:

When working in Denmark, families with children are eligible for receiving child benefits. If your child does not live in Denmark, you have to apply for the benefit yourself.

If you are a citizen in an EU/EEA country

When you apply for child benefits as an EU/EEA citizen, you must use various documentation. Below, you can see which documents you need in order to apply.

Infographic on which documents you need in order to apply

If you log in using NemID, you only have to attach the relevant documentation. You can save your application along the way, if you like.

If you do not have NemID

If you do not have NemID, you must use a form for declaration and consent. You can find the form you need to use here:

You must print the form, sign it and scan it to your computer. When you apply for child benefits as an EU/EEA citizen without NemID, you must attach:

  • Form for declaration and consent
  • Employment contract
  • Birth certificate for children.

You can apply for child benefits as an EU/EEA citizen without NemID here:

If you need help or have questions you can contact Udbetaling Danmark by phone +45 70 12 80 62.

If you are not a citizen in an EU/EEA country

If you are not a citizen in an EU/EEA country, you can apply for the benefit by contacting Udbetaling Danmark by phone +45 70 12 80 62.

Please be aware not to send sensitive personal information such as your civil registration (CPR) number to Udbetaling Danmark via email because email is not a secure communication channel. If you need to send sensitive personal information, you must send a letter to Udbetaling Danmark, Kongens Vænge 8, DK-3400 Hillerød.

When am I a citizen in an EU/EEA country?

You are EU/EEA citizen if you are a citizen of one of the following countries:

  • Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, the UK, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Austria.

If you are a foreigner and work in Denmark, you may apply for child benefits if you:

  • share custody of the child
  • can document that you are related to the child
  • are a citizen in an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland or Lichtenstein, if your child does not live in Denmark.

In addition, you must have worked or lived in Denmark for a certain period within the past 10 years.

Below, you can see an overview of how much you are entitled to receive, depending on how long you have lived or worked in Denmark, in Greenland or on the Faroe Islands.

Total period in which you have lived or worked in Denmark (within the past 10 years) Percentage of the benefit which you are entitled to receive
6 months 8.3 pct.
1 year 16.7 pct.
1.5 years 25 pct.
2 years 33.3 pct.
2.5 years 41.7 pct.
3 years 50 pct.
3.5 years 58.3 pct.
4 years 66.7 pct.
4.5 years 75 pct.
5 years 83.3 pct.
5.5 years 91.7 pct.
6 years 100 pct.

You can also include periods during which you have accrued family benefit rights by living in or working in another EU or EEA country or Switzerland. You can do so if you are a citizen of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland. However, Udbetaling Danmark – Public Benefits Administration – first need to verify your information with the authorities in the country in which you have lived or worked before the periods can be included.

If you are a citizen in an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland or Lichtenstein and want to know more about your rights when living or working in Denmark, you have to contact the authorities in your home country.

Were you entitled to receive child benefits before 1 January 2018?

If you received child benefits before 1 January 2018 and if you are still entitled to receive child benefits, you are subject to a two-year qualification requirement. This means that you must have lived or worked in Denmark for at least two years within the past 10 years.

Below, you can see the percentage you are entitled to receive, depending on how long you have lived or worked in Denmark, in Greenland or on the Faroe Islands within the past 10 years.

  • 6 months in order to have earned 25 per cent of the total benefit
  • 1 year in order to have earned 50 per cent of the total benefit
  • 1.5 years in order to have earned 75 per cent of the total benefit
  • 2 years in order to have earned the total benefit.

In addition to the child benefits, you can also receive a special child allowance which is paid in different situations – e.g. if you are a single provider.

If you want to know more about child allowance, you are welcome to contact Udbetaling Danmark by phone +45 70 12 80 62.

You can also contact Udbetaling Danmark by e-mail to udbetalingdanmark@atp.dk.

Please be aware not to send sensitive personal information such as your social security number to Udbetaling Danmark via e-mail because e-mail is not a secure communication channel. If you need to send sensitive personal information, you must send a letter to Udbetaling Danmark, Kongens Vænge 8, DK-3400 Hillerød.

Read more about family benefits in EU countries:

If you are an employee

If you are an employee and have worked in Denmark for the last four whole months, you will receive parental benefit if you meet the following conditions:

  • You have employment the day before the leave starts or on the first day of it.
  • You have worked at least 160 hours within the last four whole months before your leave.
  • You have worked at least 40 hours per month for at least three of those four months.

If you move to Denmark from another EU/EEA country less than four whole months before your leave, your employment in that other country counts as part of the 160 hours in total and 40 hours per month. To receive maternity/paternity benefits in Denmark, it is a condition that you are employed in Denmark prior to your leave.

Please note that you also need to spend time - be physically present - with your child every day to receive maternity/paternity benefits.

If you are self-employed, unemployed, a student or a recent graduate you have to comply with other terms. You can read more on borger.dk or contact Udbetaling Danmark.

If your child is new-born when you move to Denmark

If you move to Denmark after the birth of your child, you are eligible for the benefits from Udbetaling Danmark if:

  • You meet the employee-conditions above or are eligible to receive unemployment benefits
  • You no longer receive maternity/paternity benefits from the country that you arrive from
  • Your child was born less than 46 weeks ago.

If you comply with all these terms, you are eligible for maternity/paternity benefits until your child is 46 weeks.

If you or the child’s other parent are not subject to the Danish maternity/paternity rules before your child is 46 weeks, you cannot take your leave and receive maternity/paternity benefits from Udbetaling Danmark later.

If only one of you is eligible for maternity/paternity benefits from Denmark

If only you, and not the child’s other parent, are eligible for Danish benefits, you have a right to maternity/paternity benefits in 16 weeks out of the 32 weeks of the child-care leave. However, you can receive the benefits in all 32 weeks if you live alone with the child or if you can document that the child’s other parent does not receive benefits from a different country during this period.

No later than 3 months before the expected birth, you have to inform your employer when you plan to take your leave. As a father to be, you have to inform your employer no later than 4 weeks before your expect to take your paternity leave, when you wish to take your 2 weeks of leave.

Your employer applies for you

You have to ask your employer to apply for your maternity/paternity benefits through NemRefusion. Subsequently, you will receive a letter of notification from Udbetaling Danmark asking you to fill out a page of additional information which you have to return.

In many cases you will be able to bring family pets, when you and your family move to Denmark to work.

Dogs, cats and ferrets from other EU Member States may enter Denmark through any border crossing as long as the animal has ID, an EU Pet Passport and rabies vaccination.

For other pets and when bringing pets from countries outside the EU, there are extra requirements. Bringing pets from countries outside the EU, you need to notify the Danish Border Inspection Post prior to import.