Dutch government corrects mistake: Childcare benefits will rise in 2023
In news that will likely come as a relief to many parents across the Netherlands, the Dutch government has announced that it will in fact increase the childcare benefit rate for 2023 in order to help compensate for significantly rising childcare costs.
Dutch government announces it will increase child benefits
While the cost of childcare in the Netherlands is set to rise by an average of 8,5 percent in 2023, last week RTL Nieuws reported that working parents would only see their childcare benefits increase by 5,6 percent in the new year. This discrepancy was down to a miscalculation within the government, which had based its 2023 benefits rates on an inaccurate forecast published by the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) in March.
The news left families across the country worrying about how they would cover their childcare costs in the new year, with some even considering quitting their jobs in order to take over childcare responsibilities.
Just one week after the news broke, however, the Dutch government has announced a significant U-turn in policy. While initially the Ministry of Social Affairs said it was too late to correct the mistake, the cabinet has now confirmed that childcare benefits will in fact rise in the new year.
Hourly childcare benefit rate in the Netherlands rising by 6,54 percent
On Tuesday morning the government announced that, in 2023, the maximum hourly rate for childcare benefits would increase by an additional 0,94 percent, resulting in an overall increase of 6,54 percent instead of the previously announced 5,6 percent. In real terms, this means the maximum hourly rate for daycare and after-school care (BSO) will rise to 9,06 euros and 7,79 euros respectively.
“I can well imagine that parents are losing sleep over considerably higher rates for childcare,” Social Affairs Minister Karien van Gennip said. “I want childcare to remain accessible and affordable…The extra increase in the maximum hourly rate will help with that.”
This change in policy means the government will be investing an additional 57 million euros in the benefits scheme, bringing the total to 282 million euros. The Ministry of Social Affairs is also investigating whether the increases can also be applied retroactively to 2023 benefits payments that have already been paid out.