Last year almost a million Dutch children were in childcare while their parents worked or studied, according to the latest figures from the CBS Dutch statistics office.
The number of children cared for by a crèche, before or after school care, or a childminder has increased steadily in the last five years to 950,000, which the body says is a sign of a buoyant economy. Forty percent of children of 12 or younger currently have some form of paid-for childcare, it says.
Households paid on average €6,180 a year for the care last year – around €500 a month – and 70% of this was refunded by childcare subsidies. A spokesman for the CBS told DutchNews.nl that the amount of money given to parents in the first four months of 2019 has risen, compared with last year. ‘We also know that the government has made more money available,’ he added.
In 2018, the average parents received €4,200 in childcare support subsidies, with a total payout of around €2.6bn. This year, although more budget is available, the government has decreased the ‘declarable’ maximum hourly rate. If a child carer charges more, the parent makes up the difference, and this is the case for at least 40% of children – and almost 83% of those in after school care.
In order to receive the payment, both parents must be working or studying for a minimum number of hours.
Separately, Trouw reported on Tuesday that possibly ‘thousands’ of parents had their subsidies stopped or taken back by the tax office in the past, when they were entitled to keep them, due to an investigation into fraud.
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