Leaving your children in good hands and going to work themselves: that costs money. But how much, that varies per type of childcare. Do you bring your child to grandparents, negotiate diapers and fruit snacks, enter into a 'service arrangement' or opt for the parental participation crèche? NU.nl lists the options.
In 2018, 778,000 children went to day care centers, out-of-school care or childminder care. That number is increasing, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment calculated. The number of children whose parents use childcare allowance increased to 815,000, an increase of 37,000 compared to last year.
More children go to daycare, and that daycare is becoming more and more expensive. The costs for childcare have recently been increased by the government, since day care centers have had to comply with new quality requirements since 1 January 2019.
See also: Childcare more expensive: 'Parents with low incomes are the big losers'
Childcare, says Gjalt Jellesma of the Association of Parents in the Childcare (Boink), is about trust, not money. The market is failing when it comes to the childcare sector, says Jellesma.
Jellesma: "Parents choose the care of their child on the basis of feeling and a convenient location. They do not do extensive market research, but must trust that the care of their child is good. You cannot go with a notebook in a corner sit down. "
Because parents often do not look at a few cents extra, the costs are high for many parents, despite the surcharges. Moreover, there are long waiting lists and parents won't wait a year to save a dime, says Jellesma.
Grandparents cannot just be a childminder
Parents who stay away from daycare centers do have an influence on the price. Grandfathers and grandmothers, or sisters looking after each other's children: you can formalize that as parents. That process is susceptible to fraud, says Jellesma, but is still allowed by the government.
Grandparents have to do something for that: follow the mbo 2 training childminder, apply for a Certificate of Good Behavior (VOG) and register at a childminder agency. They are then paid the hours that they look after the grandchildren through the childminder agency, and their children can apply for a supplement.
Such a childminder does not have to be a grandfather, grandmother or acquaintance. Although the number of childminders is decreasing - from 46,000 to 31,000 in five years - this type of childcare is cheaper and especially useful for parents who have to do flexible work themselves.
Parents often pay the childminder per hour, and the average hourly rate is more than 1.50 euros per hour cheaper than a day care center, according to a Boink price survey in 2018. The age of the children does not matter for the price, and childminders are more flexible . The childminder, Jellesma says, should not be seen as a newspaper district. "It's a profession, and the only form of flexible childcare that really works."
The service provision
Then there is the 'service provision'. As a private client you can have someone carry out odd jobs around the house for a maximum of four days a week. A gardener, a dog walker, but also a babysitter for the children.
With this scheme you are not an official employer and you do not pay employer's costs. You are obliged to pay the babysitter the minimum wage. That can be a lot lower than the average costs of a daycare. A babysitter of eighteen years of age who watches out for eight hours a week is entitled to a minimum wage of 5.25 euros per hour.
The parent participation crèche
Those who are willing to roll up their sleeves themselves can go to the parent participation crèche (OPC). These are daycare centers that are run by parents and have a harvest status so far, which means that parents can apply for a supplement. In these parent participation crèches, the parents work unpaid on different parts of the day in daycare.
There are no professionals working, so they do not meet the legal quality requirements. The future of these OPCs is not yet clear, although State Secretary Tamara van Ark of Social Affairs and Employment promised to equate this form of childcare in a new law.
In any case, they are cheap: for example, parents who themselves spend half a day paying 2.49 euros per hour at OPC De Krakeling in Utrecht, including fruit and drinks. Parents will receive the normal supplement on that low amount.
Also pay attention to this when choosing affordable childcare:
- You are only eligible for childcare allowance if childminder agencies are in the national childcare register.
- Make sure you are obliged to take care during school holidays, De Consumentenbond notes.
- Ask if you can make up for missed days, even if your child has been sick.
- Check if diapers and food are included in the price.
- Ask how flexible the collection times are. You may not need that flexibility, but it will be calculated in the price.