Living in Europe | Day care, schooling & family related issues | Italy

This section is dedicated to family support services and benefits available in Italy such as family allowances, maternity/parental leave and assistance. Moreover, here follows some useful information on family reunion and child care system.

For general information about family issues, visit the European Commission website: Your Europe - Family.


In most cases, as long as you can support your family members financially, your spouse and children should be allowed to join you in Italy. If you hold a study visa you, you must also hold a permit of stay valid for at least one year.


Family members allowed to family reunion are:

  • spouse not legally separated, 18 years old or older;
  • children younger than 18;
  • dependent children of age;
  • dependent parents of the applicant for family reunion, if the applicant is the only offspring of his/her parents.


The online application  foresees the issue of :

  • an entry clearance (the request is made online by Form S - Modello S) prior to the visa
  • an entry visa for family reason

The process takes up to 180 days. The Immigration office (Sportello Unico per l’ Immigrazione) of the local Prefettura will contact the applicant for an interview and to collect additional papers about accommodation, income etc.

Family members have 6 months to apply for the entry visa at the Italian Diplomatic Representation (Consulate or Embassy) in their country of residence.

Once in Italy, within 8 days from their arrival, they must apply for a permit of stay for family reunion at the Immigration Office at the local Prefettura.

Be informed that

  • The dwelling suitability is not requested for researchers holding a permit of stay for research purposes.
  • The income should not be not lower than the annual Italian social allowance increased by half of the same amount for each family member wishing to join you in Italy
  • The permit of stay of family members will have the same duration of the applicant’s.

Immigration offices (Patronati) offer advice and support for free to foreigners on family reunion and other immigration and daily-life related formalities.

It is recommended to contact your host organisation or the nearest EURAXESS Centre to get support.

In this part you will find everything you may need to know when your family is with you in Italy. Specific support and advice on family benefits are provide by Immigration office (Patronati) for free.


Family allowances (Assegno per nuclei familiari - ANF) are paid by the employer (direct credit in the payslip) or by INPS (by cheque) on a monthly basis and may be claimed from:

  • paid employment deriving from employed work contract
  • social security benefits (i.e. unemployed worker and on maternity or sickness leave, pensioners, etc.). 

The amount depends on the household income (ISEE - Indicatore della situazione economica equivalente) and the number of family members.

Be informed that workers are entitled to family benefits also if their family members (i.e. spouse, children) live in the country of origin, provided that the specific conditions required are fulfilled (please check with your employer or/and INPS).

Tax credits for dependent children may be claimed from either parents. The credit amount varies according to the income.

Please see the Euraxess Guide (671.87 KB)

The National Health Service (SSN) provides directly and free of charge prenatal care and medical assistance. Female workers are entitled to paid time off (permessi retribuiti) for prenatal visits and controls during working hours.

More information can be asked to family planning clinics or Local Health Authorities (Azienda Sanitaria Locale – ASL).

In Italy maternity benefits cover medical assistance, paid time off and cash benefits.

Maternity and parental leaves (Congedo di maternità/paternità) are foreseen by law. It could be compulsory and optional suspension (periodo di astensione obbligatoria e facoltativa or congedo parentale) of the performance of work by a working mother and father. Maternity and parental leaves are paid time off.

  • compulsory abstention (periodo di astensione obbligatoria) may start  two months prior to the expected date of birth delivery and ending three months after the actual date of the birth delivery.
  • optional abstention (periodo di astensione facoltativa or congedo parentale) covers a period of 6 months during the baby's first year of life. In addition, parents can request some periods of abstention to work in case of illness of the child under 3 years of age.

Workers registered with the separate administration (gestione separata) and independent workers have a period of optional abstention for a period of only 3 months during the baby's first year of life.

Please contact your host organisation for information on maternity and parental leaves conditions.

Specific support and advice on family benefits are provide by Immigration office (Patronati) for free.

In general, for children under the age of three the possibilities are:

  • Daycare Centres (asili nido): they are run by the City Hall (Comune) or by private (in this case there is an agreement with the national education system). Attendance requires a monthly payment depending on the selected timetable and the household income. Reduced monthly rates are foreseen in public daycare centres and in private centres operating within the public system.
  • Baby Parking (Crèche): they provide occasional care for children. Usually they charge on an hourly/daily basis.
  • Baby sitters

For further information on the child-care system, contact the dedicated office (i.e. Social work services) of the Municipality you live in.

In Italy schooling is compulsory up to the age of 16 and it comprises both public or state-run schools (scuole pubbliche / statali) and private schools (scuole private paritarie, non paritarie, straniere).

  • Enrolment at compulsory schools can be done at any moment during the academic year.
  • Up-dated information on procedures and application forms for the yearly enrolment are managed by the Ministry of Education ( ) every year.
  • Any enrolment fees are required by public schools except for a contribution for meals and school transport when provided.

The school year usually goes from mid-September until mid-June and common school holidays are scheduled for Christmas, Easter and summer break (from mid-June to mid-September).

Information about education services and schools should be addressed to the Education and Social work services of the municaplity where the institution is located.


In Italy there also International schools offering education programmes in foreign languages besides Italian (taught as a second language) and awarding IB Diplomas (International Baccalaureate). The list can be found in the following webpage


The Italian Education system includes:

(asilo nido) not compulsory (for children 0-3 years old). Daycare centres could be public or private. They operate from Monday to Friday with flexible timetables. Attendance requires a monthly payment.

(scuola per l'infanzia) not compulsory (for children 3-5 years old)

Nursery schools could be public or private. Attendance at public schools is free (extra fee is required for meals) while private school require a monthly attendance fee. Schools operate from Monday to Friday with flexible timetables.

(scuola primaria / elementare) compulsory (for children 6-10 years old)

Parents may freely choose the school if vacant places are available. Primary schools are completely free except for meals (if provided) and school transport. The municipality provides for the children’s textbooks. Main subjects taught are: Italian, English, Geography, History, Maths, Science, Technology, Music, Art, Physical education, Information technology and Religion (optional).

(scuola media) compulsory (for children 11-14 years old). Schooling is free, but books must be purchased by families Main subjects taught are: Italian, Foreign languages, History, Geography, Science, Maths, Technology, IT, Art, Music, Religion (optional). Students must take and pass a final examination before moving on to secondary school.

(scuola superiore) compulsory up to the age of 16. The secondary high school system is sub-divided by subject matter and the curricula vary according to the course of study chosen (i.e. Technical, Fine Arts, Scientific, Classical, etc.). Students must pass a final examination in order to receive their Esame di Stato. This qualification entitles to university or Afam institutions (Alta Formazione Artistica, Musicale e Coreutica ) enrolment. For more information please visit