The Dutch Childcare Act is based on the assumption that formal childcare is financed by parents, employers and government. The employers of both partners together pay one third of the total costs of childcare. As from 1 January 2007 employers are obliged to contribute to the costs of childcare paid by their employees. The amount of this contribution is not related to the level of income. In addition to this, parents may also receive an allowance from the government, the amount of which does depend of the level of their income. Both the employers’ contribution and the government allowance are paid by the government. To receive them, applicants and their partners must both work, attend some form of education, participate in a naturalisation course or a work re-integration scheme.
Data on the amounts paid for childcare allowances are based on information provided by the Ministry of Finance, reference date March 2011. For 2007, more than 95 percent of allowances were definitive. For the years 2008 and 2009, 90 and 20 percent respectively were definitive. Data on 2010 are solely based on provisional allowances.
The allowance reflects to the use of childcare in the reference year and, since 2007, includes the obligatory employers’ contribution. The allowance amount parents receive depends on the costs of childcare and their annual income. Tax authorities can adjust the allowance at a later stage based on, for example, the definitive annual income. The data are corrected for these adjustments.