One and a half million children in the Netherlands are entrusted to some form of childcare; this is more than half the children aged twelve or younger. Babysitters are the most popular form of childcare, looking after 900 thousand children. Nearly 400 thousand children visit professionally organised child care and 800 thousand go to another form of childcare such as playgroup or staying over for lunch at school.
More child care in urban areas
Childcare is most common in extremely urbanised municipalities, with some 65 percent of children up to age twelve entrusted to some form of day care. In not urbanised municipalities, on the other hand, just over half of children are taken care of by someone else while their parents are at work.
Childcare by degree of urbanisation, 2001
Less professional childcare in rural areas
About twenty percent of children in extremely urbanised municipalities are taken care of professionally, compared with ten percent in non-urban municipalities. Childcare by babysitters is distributed more evenly. In both urbanised and non-urbanised municipalities, about thirty percent of children are cared for by a sitter. Other forms of childcare (especially staying at school for lunch) is more common in urbanised municipalities..
Number of childcare forms per child by degree of urbanisation, 2001
Babysitters indispensable as a back-up
One in five children are entrusted to more than one form of childcare. Babysitters are often used to supplement other forms of childcare. Four out of every ten children taken care of by professional carers also have a babysitter. The same is true for children attending playgroup and those who stay at school for lunch. The more urbanised a municipality is, the more likely parents are to combine forms of childcare.
Demand for childcare by degree of urbanisation
Unfulfilled demand for childcare
Parents of about 150 thousand children want more organised childcare. Some of these have children who are not yet cared for by professional carers, others already have children in professional care, but need more hours of care. The demand for more professional care is highest in the most urbanised municipalities.
Gusta van Gessel-Dabekaussen