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Study: shortage of daycare still a problem in Switzerland

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Study: shortage of daycare still a problem in Switzerland
Photo: HighwayStarz/Depositphotos
09:19 CET+01:00
Demand for childcare places in Switzerland continues to outstrip supply, despite efforts by the government to remedy the situation.

A study released by the Federal Social Insurance Office (FSIO) shows that particularly in the German part of Switzerland parents struggle to find places in nurseries or out-of-school care for their children.

Around 20 percent of parents say their needs for pre-school or after-school care are not being fully met.

A law that came into effect in 2003 creates financial incentives for the creation of new childcare places.

It has helped to create 56,400 new daycare places – more than doubling supply.

The authors of the study say this programme, which is due to end in January 2019, should be continued.

Switzerland currently has 62,500 nursery places for pre-school children and around 81,000 places for school-age children over lunchtime, according to the report quoted by the Swiss news agency SDA.

In addition there are between 17,000 and 20,000 families that look after other people’s children.

But the figures show that full-time places for pre-schoolers are available for less than one third of children in Switzerland.

The cantons of Vaud, Neuchâtel and Geneva come out best, with pre-school provision for 26 to 29 percent of children.

In the cantons of Appenzell Innerrhoden and Uri, on the other hand, all-day provision only exists for three to four percent of children. 

The study found that 28 percent of pre-school children attend a nursery, with around 33 percent being cared for by relatives and neighbours.

The high cost of childcare is a big disincentive to many parents.

In June of this year parliament approved a new set of measures to reduce childcare costs for parents and ensure the care provided is better suited to their needs.

It has pledged to spend 100 million francs on this over the next five years.

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