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WHAT CHANGES IN NORWAY

The key changes in August that parents in Norway need to know about 

From changes to the paternity allowance to more financial support and free afterschool places for first graders, here are the key changes happening in August that parents in Norway should know about. 

Pictured is a mother and child in Ålesund, west Norway.
These are the key changes that parents in Norway need to know about. Pictured is a mother and child in Ålesund. Photo by Andrei Miranchuk on Unsplash

Sommerferie ends

We’re starting with one that all parents will know about, whether they dread seeing their little ones off to school or are counting down the days. 

Most kids’ first day of school will be Monday, August 16th. However, the term itself will bring in one big change parents will want to be aware of… 

The absence limit to be reintroduced

After the summer holidays, the absence rules for students will be reintroduced for middle and high school pupils

If high school students in Norway miss more than 10 percent of lessons in a subject, then the student will fail the subject and not receive a grade. Students can have an authorised absence with valid documentation, such as a doctor’s note. Documentation from another expert, such as a physiotherapist, dentist, psychologist or health nurse, can also be used. 

During the pandemic, the government introduced rules which meant there were exemptions from the documentation required for a health-related absence.

Free SFO for first graders

On the topic of schools, all children in Norway are eligible for up to 12 hours of free afterschool activities a week from August. 

Families on low incomes in 60 municipalities will be given free full-time spaces in after schools programs. Around 5,500 children will benefit from the policy. You can find a list of the municipalities offering free full-time SFO places here.

Glasses support for kids introduced

A new support scheme for kids needing glasses will be brought at the beginning of August. The new scheme gives children who were excluded from support during a rejig in 2020 (those who needed glasses for the prevention or treatment of amblyopia) a right to financial support to purchase spectacles.

The scheme will apply to around 140,000 children and those already eligible for support. Financial support is only available for children under 18. 

Under the scheme, families could be reimbursed up to 75 percent of the cost of a pair of prescription lenses for a child. There will be five different rates, with the support depending on the glasses’ strength. 

Those who apply for the support will have the money then paid into their account to help pay for the costs before purchase or as a reimbursement after the spectacles have been bought. Parents will need to apply to NAV for support. 

Paternity rules change 

The fathers of children born after August 2nd will be independently entitled to eight weeks of parental allowance. This means that the father can use parental allowance for eight weeks without it coming out of the general allowance.  

Mothers can apply for parental leave in Norway during the 22nd week of pregnancy, and fathers/partners can apply just after the baby is born. Parental allowance is paid out by NAV. 

A right to children’s coordinator 

The beginning of August also sees a statutory right to a children’s coordinator introduced. 

The new right will see “families with children or who are expecting children with serious illness, injury or impaired functioning, and who will need long-term and complex or coordinated health and care services and other welfare services,” given access to a coordinator.

The coordinator will ensure that all the services the family needs to access are on the same page and that local authorities make the necessary arrangements for families. 

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WHAT CHANGES IN NORWAY

New citizenship rules: Everything that changes in Norway in October 2022

Changes to the language rules for Norwegian citizenship and the government presenting its budget for 2022 are among the key changes in Norway in October. 

New citizenship rules: Everything that changes in Norway in October 2022

New language rules for citizenship

The language requirements for Norwegian citizenship will become stricter from October 1st. The required level will be raised from A2 to B1, in line with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

New language requirements apply to applications submitted after October 1st. An application is considered fully submitted after the documents as part of the application are handed to the police, 

Additionally, applicants will no longer be required to document Norwegian language training. Under current rules, applicants must demonstrate that they have attended Norwegian lessons or have an “adequate understanding of Norwegian”- i.e. passing language exam at A2, B1 and B2 levels. 

READ MORE: Norway’s new language requirements for citizenship

Government to present state budget

On October 6th, the Norwegian government will unveil the state budget for 2023. The budget comes when the cost of living is increasing, and consumers are being squeezed by inflation, energy prices and rising interest rates. 

However, early indications from the government suggest that households in Norway may have to settle for a more lean budget this year. 

“There are new expenses that we must take in responsibly by creating a good state budget for the country and people, and we are well on our way to doing that. This is going to be a tight and fair budget,” Norway’s PM Jonas Gahr Støre said in August

“We cannot do as has been done in previous years, to just use more oil money to solve challenges. On the contrary, we have to spend less, and at the same time we have big expenses to pay and big tasks to do,” he added. 

Transport cuts could be announced

One announcement to be expected in the budget would be a significant cut to major transport projects in Norway if comments made by the Transport Minister, Jon-Ivar Nygård, are anything to go by. 

“I think there will probably be disappointment,” Transport Minister Jon-Ivar Nygård told Norwegian broadcaster TV2.

He added that due to the current economic situation that the government would be unable to deliver on projects outlined by previous governments. 

However, he added that the government would instead put projects on hold than scrap them altogether. 

Høstferie

Norway’s fall holidays will take place during the beginning of October. The week beginning October 3rd will see kids in Agder, Oslo, Viken, Troms og Finnmark head out on holiday before pupils in Innlandet, Møre of Romsdal, Rogaland, Trøndelag, Vestfold og Telemark, Vestland and Nordland enjoy fall break from the week beginning October 14th. 

Historically, the free week was based around when potato crops were ready for harvest. Now, it is a time when many Norwegians escape to their cabins for a week to explore nature and unwind. 

Time for foraging

This is the season when many (perhaps even most) Norwegians bunk off from work early to roam their local forests, bringing back giant hauls of hedgehog mushrooms (pigsopp), tasty chanterelles (kantareller), trumpet chanterelles (traktkantareller) and ceps (Steinsopp).

If you’re in the right part of Norway and find a good spot, you can bring back kilos and kilos, which, if dried or frozen, can keep you going right through to the next season. 

READ MORE: How to pick mushrooms in Norway like you’ve been doing it all your life

Winter tyre season in the north 

In the northernmost parts of the country, the winter tyre season begins earlier due to the snow arriving and settling quicker than it does in the south. As a result, the season in the north begins on October 16th before commencing on November 1st in the rest of the country. 

Increased energy support visible on electricity bills

In September, the proportion of energy bills the government covered increased to 90 percent. Some 90 percent of household energy bills will be subsidised when the spot price exceeds 70 øre per kWh. 

The bill you receive in October will be the first one where 90 percent of the bill has been covered. 

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