Once a pregnancy is confirmed with a local health visitor (védőnő), the mother will be issued a booklet to record all prenatal appointments. These can be done at a public health clinic or state hospital, or at a private practice. In Hungary, an obstetrician / gynaecologist monitors the pregnancy and delivers the baby. As an expat, you have the choice of using the public healthcare system or going private.
Mothers are entitled to 24 weeks of maternity leave, however, they can take up to three years off with paid support. Fathers are only entitled to five paid days of paternity leave which must be taken within the first two months after the birth of the child.
In the EU, the country responsible for your social security, including family benefits (child benefits, child-raising allowances and so on), depends on your economic status and your place of residence - not your nationality.
Maternity contribution: Upon the birth of every child a family is entitled to a one-off maternity contribution, as a contribution to the relevant costs. One pre-requisite for eligibility to the costs is that during the period of pregnancy the mother should use at least four times the free maternity consultancy for pregnant women in emergency situations (or once in the case of a premature delivery).
Prenatal / child-bearing aid: during the 24-week period of maternity leave women who were employed before the birth giving got this amount in monthly basis.
Childcare pay: after the provision of the aid for the 24-week period of maternity leave, until the child accomplishes the age of 2 the so-called childcare pay (GYED) is furnished in an equivalent of 70% of the average wage or salary for a single calendar day, yet the amount is maximized in each year. This form of benefit is subject to the availability of social insurance coverage.
Childcare aid: atomatically, either of the parents (also grandparents under certain conditions) may rely on the childcare aid (GYES) until the age of 3 of the child raised in the same household, or in relation to twins until the children accomplish their compulsory schooling age. Eligibility is independent from the prior duration of social insurance coverage.
Child-raising support: those parents, foster parents and guardians are eligible for child-raising support (GYET) who raise three or more children of minor age in their own households. The support is payable between the third and eighth year of age of the youngest child.
In Hungary early childhood education and care is split system-wise into childcare (from childbirth to 3 years of age) and early childhood education (from 3 to 6/7 years of age). Day care (bölcsőde) usually accepts children from half years of age. You can either choose state-owned or private day care.
Kindergarten (óvoda) is the first stage of the Hungarian education system. Every child between three and six has the right to attend a nursery school. Attending the kindergarten from the age of three is compulsory. Several kindergartens provide some education (foreign languages, music, etc.) but the children spend most of their time playing. At kindergarten, there are several free services, such as participation in nursery school classes, as well as logopaedic classes and care to prevent the emergence of dyslexia, as well as the make-up programmes for children with special educational needs. In state-owned organisations, reimbursement of costs should be paid only for meals, yet children in need may receive various allowances from these fees up to 100%. Kindergarten teachers need a college education to work in a kindergarten.
Education in Hungary is compulsory for all children between 6 and 16 years. The basic system is 8 years of elementary school plus 4 years of secondary school with the 2 alternatives of 4 years elementary plus 8 years secondary or 6 years elementary + 6 years secondary school combinations.
The current structure consists of the following five levels: (1) pre-primary education / kindergarten (age 3 to 6); (2) elementary school; (3) general secondary school or vocational secondary school; (4) university or college; (5) doctoral studies leading to a Ph.D. or other postgraduate studies.
The Hungarian higher education consists of 3 levels: (1) Bachelor (college) studies (3-4 years or 180-240 credit points); (2) Master (university) studies (after bachelor studies plus 1-2 years or 60-120 credit points); (3) Doctoral (Ph.D.) studies (after master studies plus 3 years or 180 credit points) or other postgraduate studies.