(20 January 2018) – In 2016, 39% of children aged 12 or below in the European Union received formal childcare services, with 29% paying full or reduced price and 10% using cost free services.
The uptake of paid services is similar in urban, suburban and rural areas. There is a slight difference with regards to usage of cost free services: 11% for cities, 10% for towns and suburbs and only 6% for rural areas.
68% of EU households are satisfied with the access to formal childcare services. As the main reasons for not making (more) use of these services, EU households report finances (16%), no places available (4%), not suitable opening hours (3%), distance (2%) and unsatisfactory quality of services (1%). Highest satisfaction with the access to formal childcare services in Denmark, lowest in Spain.
In the majority of Member States, the uptake for paid services is bigger than cost free, apart from the United Kingdom (28% paid, 37% cost free), Greece (10% paid, 13% cost free), Malta (5% paid, 13% cost free), Romania (1% paid, 13% cost free) and Estonia (1% paid, 4% cost free).