Childcare and School
Most children in Denmark are enrolled in a daycare programme before they begin primary school. Children aged 0-3 go to nurseries and children aged 3-6 go to kindergarten. Children in Denmark start primary school the year they turn 6 years old.
All daycare institutions in Denmark have educated staff taking care of the children. Besides, all daycare institutions in Denmark are obliged by law to carry out an educational curriculum. It means that all institutions have activities which strengthens the children's social and language competences among other things.
Most municipalities have waiting lists for daycare. In the Municipality of Copenhagen, you will be guaranteed a daycare spot within two months as soon as your child is enrolled for a daycare.
To enrol your child in a public daycare facility, please contact the municipality and ask for "pladsanvisningen".
Childcare is financed partly by the parents, partly by the municipality. Prices differ depending on the municipality, the type of childcare, and the household income.
Nurseries are for childen between six months and three years of age. The staff members are educated to look after the needs of your child. Your child will be looked after together with a group of other children at the same age.
In Denmark, most children go to kindergarten, also called børnehave, when they are around three years old.
A lot of the childcare options are age-integrated institutions, which means that the nursery and kindergarten is located in the same place and under the same name. In this case the child does not have to be enrolled for a kindergarten spot, but will automatically go to the kindergarten after the nursery.
If your child is in a nursery, which is not integrated with a kindergarten, you have to enroll your child in a kindergarten. Normally, the nursery staff will help you with this.
In Denmark, education is mandatory for children aged 6-16. Education is free at state or public schools (Folkeskole). It is also possible for your child to attend private schools, which costs a monthly fee. Children typically begin school in August the year they turn six years old.
The primary and lower secondary education consists of a one-year pre-schooll class, nine years of primary and lower secondary education and an optional tenth form. Following primary school, which is completed at the age of 16 or 17, many Danish students proceed to some form of upper secondary education.
During the year a child turns six years old, the parents will automatically receive a letter from the local public school asking to enroll the child in pre-school. Non-Danish speaking children between the ages 5-16 can get introduction to the Danish language and school system by starting a reception class.
- Please read more about reception classes.
In Copenhagen and Frederiksberg the placement of children in public schools are divided in districts. your child is automatically assigned to a local school determined by your child's address. You can find information about which school district your child belongs to on your municipality's website.
If you wish to enrol your child in school outside the regular enrollment period (usually autumn) you have to contact your district's school.
Most international schools in Copenhagen are pivate.
To get an overview of international schools in Denmark, please refer to the Ministry of Education website:
- List of international basic schools.
- List of international upper secondary schools.
For information on enrollment procedures you have to contact the international school in question. If your child is enrolled in an/a international/private school, you must notify your municipality.
Many children in Denmark attend after-school centres before and after school. The centres are often located in the school centre (SFO) at the same time as they are enrolled in the local school.
- Please read more about after-school centers.
There are different types of special education and special needs assistance.
- Please read more about schools for children with special needs.