The idea of a so-called ‘granny’ subsidy for private babysitters has been rejected by the junior education minister as ‘undesirable and not affordable’ and failed to win the support of parliament on Tuesday evening.
The issue has, however, divided the cabinet parties.
Sharon Dijksma is fiercely against the introduction of a subsidy for parents who choose to leave their children with their grandparents, neighbours or other ‘non-professionals’, reports the Volkskrant on Wednesday.
The Labour minister told MPs it would be impossible to check the credentials of individual babysitters. ‘If the government pays, we must also be able to guarantee safety,’ she is reported as saying.
Dijksma said too that it would cost the government €100m for every €100 extra given to parents.
But the Christian partners in the cabinet – supported by the opposition GroenLinks party – say it is not fair that only crèches are given state aid. ‘Parents should be able to decide for themselves what sort of childcare suits them and money should not play a role in that,’ Christian Democrat MP Mirjam Sterk told the Volkskrant.
Sterk said long waiting lists and the lack of local crèches in rural areas meant that parents in these areas are losing out on childcare subsidies.
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