(13 May 2016) – In 2014, the EU totalled almost 15.5 million children aged under three. Half (50%) of them were cared for by their parents only. There were however major differences between Member States.
The highest proportions were registered in Bulgaria (73%), Latvia (70%), Hungary and Slovakia (68% each), while the lowest were recorded in the Netherlands (23%), Portugal (27%), Denmark (30%) and Cyprus (32%).
In 2002 at the Barcelona summit it was decided that Member States should remove disincentives to female labour force participation and strive to provide childcare to at least 33% of under-threes.
In 2014 this target of 33% of formal childcare, whether exclusively or partially, was reached in 10 Member States: Denmark (70%), Sweden (56%), Belgium and Luxembourg (both 49%), the Netherlands and Portugal (both 45%), France (40%), Slovenia and Spain (both 37%) and Finland (34%).