Formal 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 centres or childminders through a childminders agency.
The Childcare Act only applies to official forms of childcare registered with the municipal authorities. Informal care is not covered by law. Playgroups and lunch facilities for primary school children are also not covered by law.
Data on the total amount paid to parents for the various types of childcare are based on the register Childcare Allowance Scheme kept by the Ministry of Finance, reference date January 2009. The data are provisional as not all applications have been submitted yet and tax data may give rise to corrections.
Since 1 January 2007, employers are obliged to contribute to the costs of childcare. The contribution does not depend on the employee’s income. Parents are also eligible to an income-related government contribution. Both contributions are paid by tax authorities in the shape of a childcare allowance, provided that the applicant and his/her partner both work, study or attend a (re-)integration programme.