Working With Norwegians

Norwegian Barnehage

Norwegian barnehage, or daycare, is an important part of the country’s social welfare system. Barnehage is considered a fundamental right for all children in Norway, and the government subsidizes the cost of daycare to make it affordable for all families. Here is a brief guide to Norwegian barnehage.

Overview of Norwegian Barnehage

Barnehage is available for children between the ages of 0 and 6 years old. Children typically start attending barnehage at around 1 year old, and can continue until they start primary school at age 6. Barnehage is not mandatory, but it is highly encouraged and a majority of Norwegian children attend daycare.

Types of Norwegian Barnehage

There are two types of barnehage in Norway: public and private. Public barnehage is subsidized by the government, and fees are based on a sliding scale according to family income. Private barnehage is also subsidized by the government, but fees may be higher and not based on income.

Curriculum and Activities

Norwegian barnehage focuses on socialization, play, and exploration. The curriculum is play-based and emphasizes child-centered learning, with a focus on nurturing the development of the whole child. Activities may include outdoor play, arts and crafts, music, and storytelling.

Barnehage staff members are trained to work with young children and promote a positive learning environment. They are responsible for planning and implementing activities, as well as providing care and support for the children.

Benefits of Norwegian Barnehage

Norwegian barnehage provides several benefits for families, including:

  1. Affordability: Barnehage fees are subsidized by the government, making it affordable for families of all income levels.
  2. Quality care and education: Norwegian barnehage offers high-quality care and education for young children, with a focus on play-based learning and socialization.
  3. Work-life balance: Barnehage provides a safe and nurturing environment for children, allowing parents to work or pursue other activities while their children are in daycare.
  4. Equality: Norwegian barnehage is available to all children, regardless of family income or social status, promoting equality and social inclusion.

Challenges of Norwegian Barnehage

While Norwegian barnehage offers many benefits, there are also some challenges to consider. These include:

  1. Availability: In some areas of Norway, there may be a shortage of barnehage spots, leading to long waiting lists.
  2. Language barrier: For families who do not speak Norwegian, language barriers may be a challenge in communicating with barnehage staff and understanding the curriculum.
  3. Adjustment period: For young children who are starting daycare for the first time, the adjustment period can be difficult, and separation anxiety may be a challenge.


Norwegian barnehage is an important part of the country’s social welfare system, providing high-quality care and education for young children. With affordable fees and a focus on play-based learning, barnehage promotes work-life balance, social inclusion, and equality for all families in Norway.