If children are accompanying you to Norway, the need for careful and long-term planning becomes all the more imperative. Adequate housing needs to be found, daycare and schools organized and suitable leisure activities identified and followed up on. You should also check if you qualify for social benefits assisting parents.
In Norway, most children attend either private or public pre-school day care centres (barnehage) between the ages of one and five. In the Oslo area the day care facilities by and large cover the demand. The closing date for applications at most nurseries and kindergartens is March 1 and must be made for an entire kindergarten year (August - June/July). Therefore, it is advisable to plan for day care services well ahead of time and to check out private facilities that often operate under more flexible conditions. The municipality can provide an overview and counselling with regard to public and private day care options available in your neighbourhood. In Oslo, the web page Kindergartens in the City of Oslo (oslo.kommune.no) (Norwegian) provides detailed information.
Researchers who hold a 3/4-position or more at UiO and plan to spend at least one full academic year here may apply for a place at the UiO kindergarten.
PhD candidates who are members of the Student Welfare Organisation SiO (i.e. NUFU & Quota scholarship holders) may apply for a place at the nurseries and day-care centres run by SiO. For details please consult the website of SiO kindergarten (sio.no).
Day time and evening babysitters may be sought through Oslo Barnevaktformidling AS (barnevaktformidling.no) (Norwegian), phone +47 22 60 20 22, a reputed private agency with 20 years of experience in the field of procuring day care services in the Oslo area.
Children living in Norway for more than 3 months, have the right and obligation to go to school. Children must be enrolled in school the year they turn 6.
Primary and lower secondary education is compulsory and lasts for 10 years. Parents must contact the nearest school or the local municipality to register children at school. If you live in Oslo you can find your local primary school by using this webpage. You can find the corresponding lower secondary school by using this webpage.
The first 7 years children attend primary school (barneskolen), followed by 3 years of lower secondary school (ungdomskolen). Youth are entitled to, but not obliged to attend an additional 3 years of upper secondary school (videregående skole). Public schools are free of charge, and girls and boys share classes. Teaching is in Norwegian only. Alternatively, one can explore opportunities at private schools. These usually charge school fees.
All children have the right to go to their local school. Specially adapted Norwegian education for newly arrived non-Nowegian speakers is organized according to the pupil's age and school background. It is common to attend a language centre for up to 6 months before starting at the local school. You can read about the language education in Oslo here.
There are also some international schools in Oslo:
- Northern Lights International School (nlis.no) - primary school
- Oslo International School (oslointernationalschool.no) - from kindergarten to IB Diploma
- Bjørnholt skole (public school) (bjornholt.gs.oslo.no) - lower secondary school and IB Diploma
- Blindern videregående skole (public school) (ibo.org) - IB Diploma
- Deutsche Schule Oslo – Max Tau (deutscheschule.no) fom kindergarten to upper secondary school
Afterschool programmes at schools (aktivitetsskolen, AKS) are public and optional for children in Year 1–4 who need day care after school hours. Children with special needs are offered school day-care from Year 1–7. Afterschool programmes offer assistance with homework, play and educational activities and close at a certain hour by which you must pick up your child.
The application deadline is usually 1 April. However, it is also possible to enrol at other times. For more information, contact your child’s school directly.
Norway values families highly and seeks to support parents in all phases of parenthood. Learn about the different benefits and check in which way they might support you and your family on the website New in Norway (nyinorge.no).
Visa & permits
Immigration information pertaining to accompanying family members is provided in the Visa & permits section.