Just over 6.3 thousand child care centres in the Netherlands provided day care or out of school care on 1 January 2007. Inhabitants of large cities had both the most choice, and lived nearest to childcare centres.
One in eight children go to childcare centre or out of school care
Around one in eight Dutch children under thirteen years of age were in official childcare in 2007; they went to a childcare centre or out of school care. Just over a quarter (26 percent) of under-4s went to a childcare centre, while 7 percent of 4-12 year-olds went to out of school care.
To keep journeys to and from childcare facilities as short as possible, most parents look for a centre near home. However, the nearest centre may not always have any places or may not suit parents’ wishes. Therefore, in addition to the distance to the nearest crèche or out of school centre, the number of centres in the neighbourhood is also important.
Childcare nearest in big cities
On 1 January 2007, the distance to the nearest childcare provision was 1.3 kilometres on average. With an average distance from 0.5 to 1.0 kilometres, inhabitants of large cities lived nearest to childcare.
Inhabitants in more rural areas had to travel more than 1.5 kilometres on average for childcare. Parents in Reiderland (in the province Groningen), Hulst (Zeeland) and Gaasterlân-Sleat (Friesland) had to travel more than 10 kilometres on average to the nearest location.
Distance to nearest childcare centre, per municipality
Parents in large cities have widest choice
Childcare centres are not spread evenly across the Netherlands: they are concentrated in the large cities. Parents living in Leiden, Delft and Amsterdam could choose from more than 25 day care centres within a distance of 3 kilometres in 2007. Inhabitants of four neighbourhoods Amsterdam even had the choice of more than 100 day care centres. In many rural municipalities on the other hand, not one single day care centre was within 3 kilometres distance.
Municipalities with most day care centres within a 3 kilometre radius
Out of school care also concentrated in large cities
Just as childcare centres for young children, most out of school care centres are located in the large cities. Parents in Rotterdam, Almere and The Hague could choose from more than 20 locations within 3 kilometres in 2007. People living in Urk and Gaasterlân-Sleat had to travel more than 12 kilometres on average to the nearest out of school care location.
Municipalities with most out of school care centres within a 3 kilometre radius
Osman Baydar, Chantal Melser and Marijn Zuurmond