Dutch parents see a great need for more affordable childcare services. A survey by the FNV union and the Foundation for Working Parents showed that 67% of parents in the Netherlands want free childcare or pay heavily reduced fees.

One in three parents said they would work more hours if child care was free. 64% say that free child care would take the strain off them, and more than half would buy more child care if they cost less. The survey included responses from a total of 879 parents.

About 59% think childcare is too expensive and 66% of parents think the current system of childcare allowances and municipal contributions is too complicated. In addition, 40% perceive the tax and customs administration as an obstacle when applying for childcare allowances.

“The current organization of childcare is an obstacle for parents to work longer hours and contributes to the fact that three quarters of women work part time and are not economically independent,” said the general manager of the FNV, Judy Hoffman.

“Childcare must therefore be organized differently and must be a preponderant subject in the [Cabinet] training, ”she concluded.

The FNV previously said it wanted childcare to be available free of charge to any parent who wanted to take advantage of it. They said it was the government’s best possible response to the abuse of ethnic profiling of family allowances at the country’s tax office. “All employees will benefit. No more witch hunts for suspected fraudsters, who are unaware of any harm,” said Tuur Elzinga, FNV vice president.

The parents interviewed are also largely satisfied with the quality of childcare services. Only 3% think the quality is insufficient. In addition, 87% of parents consider childcare services to be important for children’s development.

The study also found that more than half of parents are in favor of more cooperation between schools and daycares.

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