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Grandparents Can Now Get Paid to Take Care of Grandkids in Sweden

The first policy of its kind gives parents the ability to transfer up to 3 months of their 16 months paid parental leave to grandparents. Proponents of the policy believe it strengthens family bonds and lowers childcare costs.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Updated July 2, 2024
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Image: Irina Wilhauk | Shutterstock

Sweden is once again leading the charge when it comes to providing parents with the support they need.

In 1974, Sweden was the first country to get rid of gender-specific national paid parental leave and offer the benefits to fathers as well. Now, the country is expanding the options parents have for childcare by allowing grandparents to step in and get paid parental leave for up to 3 months of their grandchild’s first year. Under the new law a parent couple can transfer up to 45 days or 3 months of their allotted 480 days or 16-month paid parental leave to grandparents. Single parents can transfer up to 90 days or almost 6 months.

Proponents of the legislation say that enabling this transfer to grandparents can get parents in the prime of their working years back to work sooner due to affordable childcare and enable the building of stronger family bonds.

This latest policy change is far from the only benefits parents are guaranteed in Sweden. Parents can also work reduced hours until the child is 8 years old, while government employees can get those reduced hours until the child turns 12.

While companies in the United States has made huge strides over the past 20 years to improve paid parental leave—nearly twice as many companies offer parental leave now as they did in 2005—as a whole, the US remains one of just six countries and the only “rich country” with no national paid family and medical leave.

If you are passionate about advocating for federal paid parental leave, consider volunteering with or donating to organizations like Chamber for Mothers, Paid Leave for the US and Paid Leave for All. Every little step forward can bring America closer to a better future for parents and their babies.

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