Fewer parents receive allowance for care provided by childminders

The number of parents receiving an allowance for care provided by registered childminders was reduced considerably in 2010, but more parents received an allowance for other types of childcare. With more than half a million, the overall number of recipients remained more or less stable.

Reduction by 60 thousand

Last year, 93 thousand parents received a child care allowance for care provided by registered childminders, i.e. a reduction by more than 35 thousand relative to 2009. In 2010, new rules came into effect with respect to childminders. As a result, many parents stopped sending their children to this type of formal childcare or were no longer eligible for an allowance.

Parents receiving childcare allowances

Parents receiving childcare allowances

Other types of childcare flourish

Childcare in day care centres is the most frequent type of formal care for children in the age category 0-3. Last year, 316 thousand parents received an allowance for this type of care, an increase by more than 15 thousand relative to 2009. The number of recipients of out-of-school care allowances increased by 20 thousand to 230 thousand in 2010. Altogether, 520 thousand parents received allowances for various types of childcare for 814 thousand children, approximately the same amount as in 2009.

Average allowance amount 5,600 euro

Including contributions made by municipalities and the Institute for Implementation of Employees’ Insurances (UWV), the average allowance amount was 5,600 euro in 2010, a cut by nearly 100 euro compared to 2009. This is because the maximum hourly rate for childminders was lowered.

Parental contribution averages 1,600 euro

The allowance partially compensates for the total costs of childcare.  The personal contribution made by parents who received a childcare allowance averaged 1,600 euro (22 percent), that is the same as in 2009. The personal contribution is income-related.

Personal contribution by disposable income level, 2009*

Personal contribution by disposable income level, 2009*

Large amount goes to higher incomes, despite higher parental contribution

Households receiving a childcare allowance with a disposable income exceeding 75 thousand euro on average made a personal contribution of 42 percent of the costs in 2009. Yet, they received an average annual allowance of 5,300 euro, only just short of the average allowance. This category includes many double-income couples, who frequently use childcare facilities and therefore have higher costs.

Bart Huynen and Wim Bos