Daycare use down two years straight
For the second year in a row, the amount of children attending day care in the Netherlands has dropped. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, day care centers have reported a decline of 11 percent in the number of 0-3-year-old children attending day care, from 322 thousand to 284 thousand in 2013. The Bureau of Statistics states a higher birth rate in recent years as a factor in increased attendance over the period 2008-2011.
It is not just babies, however, as young children are also lacking in numbers. Child care allowance policy has changed in the Netherlands in recent years, which may also have had an effect. The number of hours that can be claimed back was limited, and the parental contribution was raised. In 2008, the costs of childcare covered by child care allowance was 81 percent. In 2013, it is 63 percent. And the parental contribution has almost doubled. A stagnation in the economy also contributes, as the labor market has been very unforgiving in recent years. More than 50 day care facilities have shut down in 2013, which is the first time this has happened. Between 2009 and 2012, 2.4 thousand new facilities were opened. Averagely, parents had a choice between 15 day care centers in a radius of 3 kilometers from their homes, The Bureau of Statistics reports. On average, parents only needed to travel approximately 900 meters to get to a day care center.