Half a million parents receive childcare allowances

10/06/2010 15:00

The number of parents receiving childcare allowances is rising continually. In 2009, there were more than half a million recipients, an increase by 11 percent relative to one year previously. The number of parents with children in formal childcare, who received childcare allowances grew by 12 percent. After-school care is the fastest growing form of childcare.

Parents receive more than 2.9 billion euro in compensation

Last year, more than 500 thousand parents received childcare allowances for formal childcare of one or more children under the age of 13. Altogether, more than 800 thousand children were involved. The parents of nearly all children in formal childcare received childcare allowances.

Altogether, parents received 2.9 billion euro in compensation, i.e. more than 5,600 euro per applicant, covering 77 percent of total costs. Parents paid on average 22 percent of the costs of childcare, as against 18 percent in 2008.

Recipients of childcare allowances

Recipients of childcare allowances

After-school care growing rapidly

The number of children in after-school care rose substantially by 17 percent. Since 2007, schools are obliged to arrange for care outside school hours, if parents submit a request for after-school care. In the period 2007-2009, the number of children in after-school care rose by more than 100 thousand to more than 300 thousand in 2009.

Modest increase host-parent care

The number of children receiving care provided by a registered childminder also increased, but the increase (10 percent) was less substantial than in 2008 (nearly 50 percent). Last year, 217 thousand children received this type of care. One in five of them also received day care or after-school care.

Most children in formal care (nearly 375 thousand) attended day care centres, i.e. an increase by 10 percent compared to 2008.

Number of children receiving formal childcare

Number of children receiving formal childcare

Half of children under 4 in formal childcare

In 2009, nearly one in three children under the age of 13 attended formal childcare. Approximately half of children under the age of 4 attended day care centres or received care provided by registered childminders. When children reach primary-school age, the demand for formal childcare drops rapidly; 37 percent of 5-year-olds attended formal childcare, versus only 6 percent of 12-year-olds.

Proportion of children in formal childcare by age 1) , 2009*

Proportion of children in formal childcare by age 1) , 2009*

Bart Huynen