Spending on care services – including childcare and the cost of the homeless and refugees – hit €97.5bn last year, a rise of €2bn on 2016, according to new calculations by national statistics office CBS.
This means the cost of care is rising below economic growth, the CBS said. The Dutch economy rose by around 3.2%.
The sharpest rise was in the cost of childcare, which rose 7.2% to €3.9bn. This is because the number of children eligible for help in paying daycare fees rose by 60,000, the CBS said.
The cost of specialist medical care rose by 2.3% to €27.2bn and accounts for more than 25% of the total care budget.
However, there were some windfalls. For example, the bill for looking after the homeless and refugees fell by 7.5% to €1.8bn, due to lower spending on refugee accommodation.