The Dutch tax authorities paid out over 2.4 billion in child care compensation in 2012. This is about 400 million less than in 2011, which constitutes a cut of nearly 15 percent. For the first time the outflow exceeded the inflow in 2012.
The new regulation for child care compensation has led to the decision by many parents to stop using formal child care. Another contributing factor may have been the worsening situation on the job market. The outflow of recipients was considerably higher in 2012 than in previous years, with 87 thousand. There were also fewer new recipients: 75 thousand as opposed to the 90 thousand in 2008-2011. In total 534 thousand parents received compensation for child care, 12 thousand fewer than in 2011.
Recipients of child care compensation, 2009-2012
Fewer child care hours compensated
The number of child care hours declared per recipient fell in 2012 mainly because many parents decided to stop using formal child care. It fell by 100 hours to an average of 1,100 hours. The average number of hours compensated for a child in day care shrank by 6 percent, whereas the decrease for a child cared for after school was 9 percent. The link introduced in 2012 between the number of hours compensated and the number of working hours of the parent with the fewest working hours may have played a role in this.
Hours of day care compensated, 2009-2012
Average compensation down by 650 euros
Because there were fewer declared hours per recipient, the average cost of child care in 2012 of over 6,600 euros were about 550 euros less than in 2011. The average compensation was about 4,500 euros, which compensated about 68 percent of the costs of child care. This is considerably less than in 2011 when the average child care compensation was 5,150 euros compensating 72 percent of the costs.
Average cost and compensation of child care