Child care references 2016
This report provides the main results from the survey on families’ child care preferences in 2016. The report describes the participation in different day care facilities including kindergartens. Cash-for-care, the parents' preferences in choosing and their satisfaction with the kindergarten as well as parents’ payment (including the new schemes “reduced parents’ fees for low-income families” and “free core time”) are areas also described in this report.
The previous survey on families’ child care preferences was performed by Statistics Norway in 2010. Figures from families’ child care preferences in 2016 show that an even greater proportion of children 1-5 years old attended kindergarten in 2016 than in 2010. This increase is due primarily to mostly larger proportion of children 1-2 years old in kindergarten compared to 2010.
Parents, relatives and nannies take care of only 7 per cent of children 1-5 years in daytime. Since most children have a shorter actual than agreed weekly attendance in kindergarten, parents may use a combination of child care schemes and the real proportion of children in this category is actually greater than just 7 per cent.
Six out of ten parents with children one-year-old who do not have a full-time place in kindergartens receive cash-for-care. Seven out of ten parents receiving cash-for-care will not apply for kindergarten if this scheme is terminated. The parents draw both value-based and practical reasons for choosing cash-for-care rather than applying for Kindergarten.
94 per cent of children 1-5 years old have agreed full-time (41 hours or more per week) places in kindergarten, but only one out of five children are actually in kindergartens corresponding to a full-time. The actual use of kindergarten varies with regard to different characteristics of families and households. If the mother is employed, a greater proportion of children attended kindergartens. Smaller proportion of children 1-2 years in households with single parents without income and in low-income families who actually attended kindergarten equivalent to a full-time place.
The figures from the survey show that the vast majority of parents are pleased with Norwegian kindergartens. 96 per cent say they are pleased that the "staff show care of the children", while 92 per cent are satisfied with the "way the staff meet the parents".
Households with children aged 1-5 spend an average of NOK 2 666, exclusive of food expenses, to child care per month. Kindergarten expenses account for the largest part of the household's total expenses for child care. Due to different schemes, low-income families have lower costs for kindergartens compared to non-lowincome families. But their kindergarten expenses represent a larger proportion of their annual income before tax compared to the non-lowincome families.
Not everyone who is entitled to reduced parent pay and free childcare in kindergarten knows about schemes such as reduced parents’ fees for low-income families and 20 hours of free kindergarten a week (core time).
Acknowledgement: The work is financed by the Ministry of Education and Research.