MOVING TO ESTONIA WITH FAMILY
It is often difficult to make a decision to move - especially if you have to decide not only for yourself, but also for your family. What will the spouse do? How will the children feel in the new school and how can they find this school? Can they still do their favorite hobbies? In this article, we will try a little to dispel these fears and tell you what the moving and arrangement of the family with children in Estonia looks like.
Inviting a specialist from abroad, the company usually offers a so-called relocation package - or, quite simply, compensates for the money spent on moving. The list of compensated expenses usually includes:
actually moving - tickets or a fixed amount if the family arrives by car
rent for the first time - a month or more
state duties for residence permit and other documents.
Some companies also pay private health insurance for the spouse, until the state earns. As a rule, the firm also has its own or third-party specialist, which helps new employees to orient and deal with domestic issues.
From the point of view of documents, everything is quite simple. First, the nearest family members are issued a visa, tied to the visa of the person who got a job in Estonia. This is enough to enter, get down to work and get a residence permit that gives the spouse the opportunity to work in the country without restrictions, and will also include all family members in the social system of the country.
Work and adaptation for the spouse
Contrary to popular prejudice, work in Estonia can be found without knowing the Estonian language - especially if you speak English or other foreign languages. Of course, ignorance of the state language somewhat narrows the range of possibilities, but does not negate the whole idea. Employees of the Unemployment Insurance Fund will be happy to tell you which options exist, or even send them to free advanced training courses - for example, courses of the Estonian language.
In addition, there are adaptation programs for immigrants in Russian and English. Such programs include a variety of free courses that explain how the new reality works for you: work, entrepreneurship, scientific activity or study in the country. As part of the adaptation program, you also have the opportunity to get a basic knowledge of the Estonian language at A1 level free of charge. More information about this can be found here.
At the end of the basic language course, you can continue studying the Estonian language in other government programs, on paid courses or on your own. The most famous for its programs is the Integration Fund. Also it is possible to be engaged absolutely free of charge and at any time on Internet courses Keeleklikk - there the charming actress and amusing cartoon characters will help you to reach level A2. If you decide to take the state exams and for this purpose went to paid courses of the Estonian language, in case of successful surrender the state will compensate you € 320 of expenses for any language course passed during the last two years.
For inclusion in the state system of medical insurance, the Haigekassa, you must work, study or stand on the register at the Unemployment Insurance Fund. Also, the insurance is granted to pregnant women and those who raise a child under the age of 8 or at least three children under 16 and have a spouse-employee. More detailed information can be found here.
The effect of this insurance extends not only to Estonia, but also to the entire European Union. For an initial appointment with a specialist doctor, an adult will have to pay a nominal € 5, but otherwise everything is free, except for dentistry. In case of loss of work, the insurance continues to operate for another two months, after which it is required to register at the Unemployment Insurance Fund for renewal.
However, dental expenses, like many others, are compensated by voluntary medical insurance: the most popular option is Ergo, but the insurance contract can also be concluded with the Haigekassa itself. Also, health insurance contract will help you get to the doctor faster if the general queue is too large.
Children under 19 years are also entitled to full state insurance, including dentistry and even orthodontics (for a number of diagnoses). However, the insurance can be extended for the duration of training in Estonia or abroad. At the end of the school, the insurance is valid for another three months.
Another good news is that foreigners living in Estonia fully rely on state family allowances. At the birth of the child, the family receives a one-time benefit of € 320. In addition, monthly for the first two children is paid € 50, and on the third and further - € 100. More information about grants and petitions can be found here.
Also in Estonia there is a parental allowance, designed to keep for the parent the average salary for the previous calendar year. The right to a parental benefit arises from the date of the birth of the child and is paid until the child reaches the age of 18 months. If the parent did not work last year, a minimum benefit of € 430 is paid. More information about the manual can be obtained on the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs. There is also a calculator that will help you calculate the size of the allowance.
Families with three or more children rely on quite a few benefits and additional payments. Information about different types of benefits can be found here.
According to official information, "There are 127 municipal kindergartens in Tallinn, of which 80 are Estonian, 28 Russian and 19 Estonian-Russian. The grouping in kindergartens takes place from May 1 to August 15, but in the presence of free places children are admitted to the children's institution throughout the year. " The cost of the kindergarten is € 50-60 per month plus food: € 1.73 per day in the manger, € 1.92 in the older groups. An application for a place can be left on the Internet.
In case there are no places in public kindergartens, you can give the child to a private garden: Edu Valem will cost € 460 per month, Montessori center - up to € 268 per month. If the child is registered in the queue for a place in the public garden, the city partly compensates the parents for the cost of a private garden - for example, with compensation Edu Valem will cost € 320 a month.
In Tallinn, 15 Russian schools, 36 Estonian and 5 with a mixed language of instruction. Public schools are free, but there are also private schools in the city: for example, training at Edu Valem will require € 5200 a year from parents.
Habitual circles and sections in Estonia are represented by so-called "schools of interest". This concept combines music schools, sports, handicraft and other sections. A good list of activities in schools of interest can be found here. There are also prices for tuition, the number of hours per week and the working language of classes. The cost varies quite strongly: for example, singing in the choir in the Nõmme House of Culture costs only € 10 per month, but for schooling "Meero Muusik" you will have to pay up to € 160 monthly - for this money your child is promised to teach singing and playing half a dozen tools, including the cannon (the Estonian national variety of gusli).
In Tallinn, a huge selection of sports activities for children, from classical football or swimming to the modern circus, including juggling, riding a unicycle and aerial acrobatics. Very popular hockey, figure skating, ballroom dancing, fencing. There is a rather rich selection of martial arts, right up to the exotic capoeira, combined with the study of the Portuguese language.
To enroll a child in a school of interest, you must first find out everything you need about the availability of places and conditions of admission. Then you will need to fill out an application for admission. Download the application form or see additional information on the topic here.
Undoubted advantage of Estonia - the ability to issue almost any document in electronic form - greatly facilitates the troubles of the initial period. However, the state institutions themselves are friendly here in Europe and are well organized: they can get help in Russian or English. And a high level of household safety, good ecology and a quiet pace of life make Estonia an excellent choice.
The main difference is that when you move to Tallinn, you will spend more time with your family than in big cities like Moscow or Kiev. When the whole city can be crossed from end to end in an hour, and the traffic jams reported in the online news, the idea of getting out of town or in the center with the whole family after work seems quite natural. And it gives life a new quality, which is worth the trouble when moving.