Councils want more say on pre-school childcare as waiting lists mount

Falling demand for commercial daycare centres is leading to long waiting lists for council-run pre-school playgroups, the country’s four big cities warn in the Volkskrant on Friday.

The rising cost of a commercial creche place has caused parents to look for alternatives, putting tremendous pressure on cheaper, council-run facilities like playgroups (peuterspeelzaal).

In Rotterdam for example, there were 12 children on the waiting list for a daycare place but 692 for a playgroup.

Education chiefs in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Utrecht and The Hague say they should be given control over all pre-school daycare. In return, they will guarantee all children a suitable place.

Daycare centres are traditionally used by working parents. Play groups, which are cheaper and have more restricted opening hours, were primarily seen as places where children can learn about others before going to school.

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