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Childcare sector urges cabinet to scrap further subsidy cuts

Wednesday 05 December 2012

The government’s plans to scrap €205m from the childcare budget next year should be dropped because the sector has been hit harder than expected by this year’s cuts, say employers, unions and parents organisations.

The groups have written to MPs pointing out that next year’s savings have already been virtually achieved because of the knock-on effect of this year’s cuts.

Occupancy rates at the country’s pre and after-school daycare centres fell by 10.4% in the first six months of this year and childcare organisers are forecasting a further 7% decline in 2013. The social affairs ministry, however, expects more children to use daycare facilities next year.

Financial problems

In the first eight months of this year, 56 daycare centres have gone bankrupt and a further 300 are in financial trouble.

Some 800,000 children spend some time each week in daycare, but parents are cutting hours or taking their children out all together, says Fleur Imming of the daycare centre association in the Volkskrant.

This year, the government cut childcare subsidies by 3% and the number of hours children spend in daycare centres fell by 5%. This means the government spent €140m less than forecast and that will continue into next year, childcare experts told the paper.

Are your children in daycare? Share your views using the comment form below.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

With rates of between 60-80 Euros per day for daycare, not wonder people are looking for alternative solutions. At the moment, the cost of daycare makes it impractical for both parents to go to work, as what one parent earns by a job, they pay to the daycare. Strangely enough, mothers on bijstand (wellfare), who are any way at home, get cheap daycare.

By Bandito | 5 December 2012 7:53 AM

Totally agree with you Bandito. Childcare is so expensive over here that my wife and I decided it would be best if one of us stayed at home to look after our two children. I only had a job with a zero-hour contract so it made most sense for me to become a house-husband.

By Darren | 5 December 2012 8:12 AM

The cost per hour of daycare is artificially high due to the subsidies. The new proposals with an income cap for the first child will decimate these businesses. Let's hope the free market will guide and cause prices will fall.

By Nina | 5 December 2012 8:30 AM

Day care is way too expensive here in holland (6.55 euros per hour).
For two babies, that's 13 euros per hours or 150% the minimum hourly salary !

By Bird | 5 December 2012 9:27 AM

We have two children at day care and my salary is not enough to pay for it. No wonder Dutch women drop work whith motherhood.

By JF | 5 December 2012 1:18 PM

we're investigating alternatives. If it becomes too expensive, it's better to not bother working in the first place. Better to stay home and enjoy the free time, rather than slog a 40 hour week and hand over >1/2 the proceeds to the politicians.

I still don't understand why the government is not allowing costs incurred to work to be claimed against the tax burden. Corporations don't have to pay exorbitant (50% + BTW) taxes on their overheads.

By H. | 5 December 2012 1:24 PM

Obviously yet another tactic to make it harder for couples to have kids. Next they'll be yapping that our planet is overpopulated again, yes I entirely agree, with untrustworthy politicians & banksters. :P "V"

By The visitor | 5 December 2012 5:43 PM

Many people with kids in daycare have to pay a minimum number of hours, even if they need less. The industry must become more flexible, and the government needs to stop childcare subsidies for times when both parents are not actually working. There are many parents where one works 32 hours and the other 12 hours a week. They only need about 4 hours of childcare subsidies, but many use daycare even when one parent is available. Parents who receive childcare benefit should account for every hour of daycare, and have it based on the income and hours worked by both parents. This is how it is done for a personal care budget (PGB), why not childcare?

By Quest | 5 December 2012 6:44 PM

Me and my boyfriend were planning to have our first kid but have now decided that unfortnuatley it is not possible as we both want to continue working and still be able to live a good life and not pay loads for childcare.

By Karen | 6 December 2012 1:17 PM

@Quest: you are assuming that when both parents work, they do not work at the same time. Often, it is not even possible to choose when to work.

By A.L. | 6 December 2012 1:44 PM

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