Crèche costs go up to slash overspend

The cost of a place in a crèche is to be increased and subsidies for informal childminders slashed in order to bring spending on childcare under control, the cabinet agreed on Friday.

Spending on childcare is currently over-running the budget by some 25% – or €1bn. While prices will go up for all income groups, low income families will face an increase of just €5 a month. Households earning over €90,000 face a €65 monthly rise.
The much-contested childminder subsidy scheme – under which grandparents can get paid for taking care of their grandchildren – will continue. But the payment will be slashed from €6 to €2.50 per hour, with a maximum of 10 or 12 hours a week.
A new form of home-based crèche, with fewer rules and a fee of €4 per hour is also being set up.
Junior education minister Sharon Dijksma said she was pleased to be able to limit the affect of the price hikes, which some feared would reach 20%. ‘The strongest shoulders will bear the heaviest burden,’ news agency ANP reported her as saying. ‘Childcare will remain affordable for everyone.’

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