One in five children in day care

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One in five children up to the age of 13 attends formal day care or after school care.

30 January 2008

AMSTERDAM – One in five children up to the age of 13 attends formal day care or after school care.  Parents are twice as likely to use informal forms of childcare, by calling on grandparents for instance. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this on Wednesday.

In 2006, 490,000 children up to the age of 13 attended formal child care facilities. Most of the children in this group were not yet of school-going age: about 300,000 children were under the age of 4.

The CBS stresses that informal care can supplement formal facilities. Just over half of children under 3 were looked after in informal arrangements.

Of the almost 600,000 children aged 10 to 12 one quarter was regularly looked after by a neighbour or grandparent. 5 percent attended before or after school care or formal child-minding facilities.

The government paid an allowance for formal day care for 410,000 children, 80 percent of the total number of children attending. Parents had almost half of their expenses (45 percent) reimbursed with the allowance. The government spend EUR 845 million on these reimbursements in 2006.

Two weeks ago childcare and parent organisations presented a covenant containing quality requirements. The quality of childcare at home day care facilities has deteriorated as a result of strong growth in the number of people offering such services, according to reports from the regional health authority GGD.

Agencies that broker babysitting services reportedly do the bare minimum. The ministry of education has been urging for some time that stricter quality requirements be set. The industry fears that the price of childcare will rise even further as a result of stepped up quality requirements.

[Copyright Expatica News 2008]

Subject: Dutch news

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