A childcare allowance is a government contribution to the costs of formal childcare services provided to parents of children under secondary-education age. Formal care is defined as care provided by day care centres, out-of-school care or care provided by registered childminders. Parents can only apply for a childcare allowances, if they are employed or being coached towards a job. In addition to formal care, there are other types of paid childcare, e.g. paid childminders or playgroups.