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Finland’s Social Insurance Institution, Kela, has unveiled its 2024 maternity package, featuring 39 high-quality and safe products designed to support the wellbeing of new parents and their infants. This year, the package continues to offer essential items for newborns, focusing on safety and durability as key criteria in product selection.

The maternity package, an established Finnish tradition, is available to all expectant mothers and can be chosen either as a physical box of goods or as a tax-free cash benefit of 170 euros.

About two-thirds of eligible recipients opt for the physical package, particularly favored by first-time mothers. Parents with older children or those who have previously received items from friends or family tend to choose the cash option, according to Veera Petäjä, a planner at Kela.

Each year, the contents of the maternity package are carefully tested and selected through competitive bidding, ensuring they meet Finland’s high standards for safety and practicality. “It’s crucial that all products are safe and durable. Zippers must not scratch the baby, and long threads that could potentially wrap around a baby’s fingers or toes are avoided. All seams and snaps are tested for durability,” says Johanna Aholainen, a legal advisor at Kela.

The 2024 package features an assortment of clothes that can be passed down to other families as the baby grows, along with items designed to facilitate bonding and interaction between parent and child, including a book aimed at enhancing parental engagement.

This year’s package also introduces “Satumetsä” (Fairy Forest), a whimsical illustration theme designed by illustrator and graphic designer Heli Hyppönen, which depicts various animal families living in their natural Finnish forest environments. The artwork was chosen through a public voting process and aims to bring joy and warmth to Finnish families. “I am delighted to see my designs in this year’s maternity package. Inspired by diverse animal families in Finnish nature across different seasons, I hope the illustrations bring joy to every family,” Hyppönen remarks.

Kela’s maternity package is not only a national treasure but also an example of Finland’s commitment to supporting families through practical and thoughtful assistance from the very beginning of a child’s life. The package’s contents, regularly updated to reflect feedback and new safety standards, offer a blend of practicality and Finnish cultural heritage. The “Satumetsä” illustration will continue to grace the boxes in the coming year, adding a touch of Finnish nature to the lives of new parents.

HT

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