Official childcare provisions include:

• day care for children age 0 to 4 years;
• out-of-school care, i.e. care before and after school hours, and day-care during school holidays for primary school children;
• care by parent-participation schemes or childminders via a childminders agency.

The childcare act is only applicable to official forms of childcare and childcare schemes registered with the municipality. Informal care is not covered by the law. Playgroups and lunch facilities for primary school children are also not covered by the law.
The information on numbers of children in childcare are taken from the European Union – Statistics on Income and Living Conditions ((EU-SILC) survey. This European study on income and life situation of households is conducted annually in all member states of the European Union. The sample for the Dutch survey comprises 9 thousand households. The percentages presented here are therefore subject to a margin of error. 
The costs of official childcare and the allowances paid to parents are taken from the register of the childcare act of the Ministry of Finance. The figures on the childcare allowance in 2007 are provisional. Not all applications have been submitted and corrections may still be made by the tax authority.

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