Why you might struggle to find childcare in Danish suburbs

Elizabeth Anne Brown
Elizabeth Anne Brown - [email protected] • 28 Jul, 2021 Updated Wed 28 Jul 2021 15:59 CEST
Why you might struggle to find childcare in Danish suburbs
Kindergartener's cubbies in Copenhagen in 2017. Young families from Denmark's major metropolitan areas are increasingly moving to the suburbs. But will there be a cubby ready for them? Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix.

During the 2020 lockdowns, people left the world's major cities in droves in search of space, fresh air, and cheaper accommodation while teleworking. In Denmark, an exodus of families with young children are straining childcare infrastructure in the suburbs communities they've moved to.


Bedroom communities that have struggled to attract new residents from major Danish cities such as Copenhagen, Aarhus and Frederiksberg find themselves in the uncomfortable position of telling young families they can't accommodate their children, Danish public broadcaster DR reports in its analysis of Statistics Denmark data and interviews with municipal governments. 

Silkeborg Municipality, with its seat town Silkeborg about 45 kilometres west of Aarhus, finds itself short more than 100 nursery and kindergarten places ahead of the autumn. 

READ MORE: How Denmark got its children back to school so soon after lockdown


"The relocation has been really strong in the last few years," Hans Okholm, a city council member and chairman of the planning and roads committee in Silkeborg, told DR. 

"In fact, 50 percent more people have moved in than we expected, and since many of them are families with young children, it creates some challenges in obtaining enough institutional places," Okholm said.

While the municipality has arranged to have 105 new nursery places available by August 1st, the situation is so dire that 25 children in Silkeborg currently go to kindergarten in a bus fitted with a toilet and washroom, DR reports in a profile of "bus teacher" Christina Kornum.

READ MORE: Denmark's 'corona babies' struggle to adapt to kindergartens  

Using data from Statistics Denmark, DR determined ten Danish municipalities had standout numbers of children aged 0-5 during 2020. 

  • Allerød Municipality (total population est. 25,893 in 2021 Q1): 163

  • Rudersdal Municipality (57,024): 340 

  • Skanderborg Municipality (63,390): 334

  • Furesø Municipality (41,001): 194

  • Egedal Municipality (43,696): 198

  • Silkeborg Municipality (95,488): 313

  • Høje-Taastrup Municipality (51,729): 145

  • Svendborg Municipality (58,588): 160

  • Køge Municipality (61,475): 162

  • Lejre Municipality (88,889): 181


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