Mostly working parents in the Caribbean Netherlands

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In 2018, most of the children living at home in the Caribbean Netherlands had working parents. Of the nearly 5.2 thousand children up to the age of 25 living at home on Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba, 92 percent have at least one working parent. This is reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) as new figures are released in the Youth Monitor which are based on the Labour Force Survey Caribbean Netherlands 2018.

A considerable share of parents In both one-parent and two-parent families are in work. In two-parent households, 70 percent of the  3.2 thousand children have two working parents. The share of children with both parents working is highest (74 percent) on St Eustatius. On Bonaire this is 71 percent. The share of children with only one of both parents working is smaller: 24 percent of the children in two-parent households on Bonaire and 18 percent on St Eustatius.

3 percent of Caribbean Dutch children live with both of their parents not in work. On Saba there are relatively many children of whom neither parent is working (9 percent). This share is more than twice as high as on St Eustatius and four times higher than on Bonaire.

The share of children with two working parents is slightly lower in the Caribbean Netherlands (70 percent) than in the European part of the Netherlands (76 percent), where 20 percent of the children live with one working parent and 4 percent with parents both not working. In the Caribbean Netherlands this is 24 and 3 percent, respectively.

On Saba, the parents’ employment situation is largely unknown. This is due to the fact that in Labour Force Survey Caribbean Netherlands (AKO-CN), only the child responded and not the parents. This may happen on occasion because not every member of the household is required to respond. On Saba, this appears to be the case more often than on Bonaire and St Eustatius, and without obvious reason.

Children living at home in two-parent family: labour participation parents, 2018
 Two parents working (%)One parent working (%)Parents not working (%)Unknown (%)
St Eustatius741844
Caribbean Netherlands702234
European Netherlands762040

9 out of 10 children in one-parent families have a working parent

Of the 2 thousand children in one-parent families in the Caribbean Netherlands, 91 percent have a working parent. This single parent is not working in 9 percent of the cases. The shares are 13 percent on St Eustatius and 5 percent on Saba. In one-parent families on Bonaire, 8 percent of the children have a non-working parent.

In the European part of the Netherlands, 67 percent of the children in one-parent families have a working parent; this is 24 percentage points lower than in the Caribbean Netherlands. One-third of the single-parent children in the European Netherlands do not have a working parent. Among one-parent households 12 percent of the children have a parent who is unable or unwilling to work due to sickness and another 5 percent have a parent who has to provide care. In the Caribbean Netherlands, these shares are 2 percent and 1 percent respectively.

Children living at home in a one-parent family: labour participation parent, 2018
 Parent working (%)Parent not working (%)
St Eustatius8713
Caribbean Netherlands919
European Netherlands6733

Parents often paying for childcare

Working parents often look after their children by themselves whenever these are not in school, but also tend to rely on paid or unpaid childcare.The 3 thousand parents with children up to the age of 12 mostly rely on nurseries, preschools or after-school care. At least half of these parents on Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba rely on such forms of paid care.

Other forms of childcare include childminders and unpaid care by relatives, friends or neighbours, for instance.

Care for children of working parents with a child up to 12 yrs, 2018
 Bonaire (%)St Eustatius (%)Saba (%)Total (%)
Daycare centre/playgroup or after-school care 56.848.751.755.2
Partner in the household12.811.320.813.4
Unpaid childcare by friends/neighbours/volunteer organisation817.129.911.4
Childminder care13.20010.1
Paid sitter23.54.32.5
Parent of the child(ren) outside the household 06.751.4
No childcare8.311.26.68.5