Toddler Health and Family Benefits in Italy

Understand the schedule of vaccinations and parental benefits that may be available to you and your child...

Toddler health and vaccinations

Italy follows the recommendations provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO) regarding infant vaccinations, and advises that they should be inoculated against various diseases.

The government in Italy has ruled in May 2017 that children must be vaccinated against 12 common illnesses before they can enrol for state-run schools. These are:

  1. polio
  2. diphtheria
  3. tetanus
  4. hepatitis B
  5. haemophilus influenzae B
  6. meningitis B
  7. meningitis C
  8. measles
  9. mumps
  10. rubella
  11. whooping cough
  12. chickenpox
  • At 11 to 15 months, the baby must be vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella (German Measles)
  • At 11 to 12 months: diphtheria, tetanus, polio, Haemophilus influenza b, Hepatitis B
  • At 3 years: polio
  • At 5 to 6 years: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis

For children between 12 and 24 months of age, the PN7V (Pneumococcal heptavalent conjugate), MenC (meningococcal C conjugate) and Var (varicella) vaccines are recommended for some children only. Check with the child's doctor for guidance.

Parents who do not vaccinate their children by the time they reach the school ages of 6 will be fined. 

Facilities and Allowances for Parents

Maternity indemnity

An amount equivalent to 80 percent of the average daily wage is allocated to mothers who are away from work, during their maternity leave, in place of their salary. The compulsory maternity leave in Italy covers a period of five months maximum; usually the mother leaves work two months before the birth of her child and returns within three months after the birth. It is also possible to leave work one month before the birth and then take up to four months once the baby is born.

Maternity leave can be extended up to 11 months between the two parents, and can be taken within the first eight years of the child's life. This indemnity also applies to parents adopting a child (for three months from the date of adoption for children under six years) and also applies to the father.

Parental leave

Within the first eight years of the child's life, either of the parents may take parental leave, up to a maximum of 11 months altogether for both parents. In the case of adoption, the parents also have the right to take parental leave (the conditions then depend on the age of the child adopted). The salary paid for parental leave corresponds to 30 percent of the average daily wage.

Child sickness

On presentation of a medical certificate, the parents have the right to take leave from work when a child is sick for:

  • Up to five working days per year for a child aged between three and eight years old
  • An unlimited number of days if the child is under three

Disabled children

Parents of a severely handicapped child may benefit from an extension of parental leave or, alternatively, may take one or two paid hours off work per day, until the child is three years old. For children above three years of age, they are entitled to three days per month off work.

From January 2001, the law states that parents who need to look after their handicapped child can take up to a maximum of two years leave. This can be taken at various times.

Specific financial help

The Ministry of Work and Social Affairs (Ministero del Lavoro e delle Politiche Sociali) may provide financial help (Assegno di Maternità) to families in financial difficulties, jobless parents, and families with more than three children aged under 18 years. Income limits apply.

  • For further information see the Ministry of Work and Social Affairs website: Click here (in Italian)

Further Information