Hefty growth in childcare in 2007

One in four Dutch children were cared for in an official day-care provision in 2007. This is more than in 2006, when one in five children were in official childcare. Partly as a consequence of the revised childcare legislation, the number of parents receiving a childcare allowance also rose substantially. The number of parents receiving an allowance for care by childminders even more than doubled.

One in four children in official childcare

Overall 625 thousand children under the age of 13 years were cared for through official childcare provisions in 2007. This the equivalent of nearly one quarter of the children in this age group. In 2006 this was still only 20 percent.

The number of children cared for by childminders doubled, from 70 thousand in 2006 to 140 thousand in 2007. The number of children in out-of-school care rose by 50 thousand to 215 thousand. Forty thousand more children were cared for in day care centres. 

Number of children in official childcare

Number of children in official childcare

Many more parents receive allowance

In 2007, 388 thousand parents in the Netherlands received a childcare allowance. This is 117 thousand more than  in 2006. The total childcare costs for these parents amounted to nearly 2.4 billion euro in 2007; 1,9 billion euro of this amount was compensated via the childcare allowance. The parents paid an average 20 percent of the costs themselves.

Only a small percentage of parents with children in official childcare did not receive an allowance. The number of children for whom an allowance was paid was more than 585 thousand in 2007. This is nearly 95 percent of the total number of children in childcare. 

Parents receiving childcare allowance

Parents receiving childcare allowance

Care by childminders more than doubled

Many mothers, grandparents and neighbours who care for other people’s children registered with an official childminders agency in 2007, so that the parents would be eligible for childcare allowance. Around 80 thousand parents received an allowance for this form of childcare in 2007. This is nearly two and a half times the number in 2006. For other forms of official childcare, too, the number of parents receiving an official allowance rose, though by less.

Allowance lower in 2006

The amounts of childcare allowance were substantially lower in 2006. The costs of childcare for parents who received an allowance were 1.8 billion euro. Central government compensated just over 0.8 billion of this amount. The amount contributed by the government in 2006 did not include employers’ contributions, however.

Bart Huynen and Peter Meuwissen