Moving is never an easy task, nor a quick one. It takes a lot of planning, effort, money, and energy. People get exhausted just by moving across the street. And what happens if you decide to move across the pond? Well, the stakes are higher, but so is the reward. Doing something so adventurous on your own is frightening as hell. But you are not alone! Your whole family is moving! Isn’t that amazing? This means more planning and bigger suitcases, but it also means that you have to find one of the best places in Europe to raise a family. Perhaps you didn’t really plan to do it in such a way, and you might need to adjust your expectations, but seeing your family happy is worth all the trouble.
When deciding what are the best places in Europe to raise a family, there are several things you need to look for – economic situation, education opportunities, crimes rate and the general attitude towards parents. Laws vary from country to country and although some of them are promising, others… Not so much.
1.When searching for the best places in Europe to raise a family, look no further than Finland
Any list made by expats will have Finland at the top of their list. Why is that so? Well, this country is exceptional in more ways than one. And when it comes to taking care of children, it wins every competition. In general, children;s health, safety and well-being is taken care of by the government. Special attention is being put on their education, which plays a very important role in Finland. Education is not only mandatory, but it is entirely provided by the government – necessary materials, transportation, and meals. Teachers are perceived in the society as extremely important and values, as they are responsible for shaping the minds of the future.
If all of that isn’t enough for you to realize why Finland is one of the best places in Europe for raising kids, take a look at this. In this country expecting mothers leave work up to 7 weeks before their due date. Once they had the baby the government pays for additional 16 weeks for mothers, and eight weeks for the respective fathers. Finland is very progressive so its laws value equally both spouses.
2. And a little bit southern, Sweden takes the top of the list
When it comes to taking care of the children, north of Europe wins every battle. Sweden parental support policies make every country envious. What are all the benefits of new parents? Well, first of all, parents receive up to 480 days of paid parental leave, which is more than a year! During this period they also receive a monthly allowance. While they are raising their children they are allowed to reduce their working hours. That means no more missed school recitals and football games. A culture much different than in the USA. Stockholm, the capital of Sweden goes even further because it allows all parents of infants to use the public transportation for free.
The only downside to Sweden ist that in the recent years they have faced some struggles with their educational system. The crisis with the schools caused a decrease in the quality of life in this European country. But, regardless, this country is still one of the best places in Europe for families.
3. Central Europe is very promising when it comes to families – check out Austria, Germany and Belgium
Many countries in Europe are very promising when it comes to the well-being of children. Laws are better than in the United States, and conditions for parents are very flexible. Nordic countries are always leading the pools, but Central Europe shows promise as well. This part of Europe generally has higher living standards, wages, and overall costs…
Austria ranks the best when it comes to taking care of children, with many government entities dedicated only to children. Germany is not far behind and is leading the pools with the high-quality public education. Both countries are famous for their international schools which can be especially interesting for families from the USA. Although, if you need to learn a local language, you can get some help here. Lately, these two countries have decreased in the overall index, but Belgium has risen, showing improvements across the board. What interests us the most is that the improvements shown are in the area of childcare and education. Taking all of this into consideration it is not a surprise that when it comes to best places in Europe to raise families, Central Europe ranks very high.
4. Where else in Europe I could move and still get good quality of life for my family?
In addition to the countries previously mentioned, a couple of others are worth considering as well. Luxembourg and Netherlands show great promise, especially when it comes to education. France is not far behind, its only downside being the fact that learning French is a must. And if a different part of Europe grabbed your attention, then Poland is the best destination. Immigration to Europe might be 9 stages of hell, but in the end, you will in a place suited for your children.
Moving to Europe and working in Europe are both going to be challenging and tiring. But every great adventure starts with the most difficult first step. Cultural shocks will lift up your spirits and the amazing hospitality will make you wonder why you didn’t move sooner. Everything is different, but that also means that it could be better. If you choose to start a family, you will for sure get better conditions and help from the government. Choose a country that can accommodate your children and move to Europe will be the best decision you ever made!