Frustration, but also relief due to the postponement of free childcare 17:08 in Binnenland Parent and sector organizations react differently to the cabinet decision to postpone almost free childcare until 2027. Some saw it coming, others are completely surprised.

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Organizations involved in childcare react with surprise, disappointment, but also relief to the government’s decision to postpone almost free childcare. Parent organizations speak of an empty promise from the cabinet, trade union FNV speaks of an ordinary cutback and sector organizations are divided.

This afternoon it was announced via the NOS that the cabinet does not want to introduce almost free childcare until 2027, two years later than planned. The reasons are the shortage of staff and the expected extra demand if childcare becomes free. The government was also looking for ways to cut costs.

Trade union FNV is not pleased with the postponement. It leads to more uncertainty and lack of clarity for both employees in the sector and parents. “This seems like an ordinary cut to a good start for children,” says Bas van Weegberg, member of the executive board of the union.

He calls on the cabinet to immediately invest in childcare. “That means better paid work, with a less high workload and more training opportunities and advancement (…) Because pedagogical professionals don’t suddenly fall out of the blue due to postponement.”

Quickly over the bridge

The Interest Association for Parents in Childcare (Boink) says it is not surprised by the decision, but calls it bad news for parents. “Anyone who knows business knew that this was not possible,” says chairman Gjalt Jellesma. As far as he is concerned, the cabinet will now look at what can be done within the current system to make childcare more accessible.

The Childcare Branch Organization is pleased “that the cabinet has an eye for the problems in the sector”. “We are very relieved that professionals and shelter organizations have been listened to,” says chairman Emmeline Bijlsma. According to her, free childcare would have meant for many parents that they had ended up on a waiting list. The fact that there is now extra time offers opportunities to think more carefully about the future of the reception system.

Bijlsma does say that the cabinet must come over in the short term with higher reimbursements for parents. These now lag behind the actual costs of reception. The cabinet says it will come up with a form of compensation for parents who had counted on the almost free childcare. Exactly what that arrangement will look like is still unclear.

‘Don’t think this is neat’

The Branch Association for Social Childcare (BMK) is completely surprised by the news. According to chairman Loes Ypma, everyone involved has worked hard to make the introduction possible in 2025. “We are completely surprised and I don’t think this is neat,” says Ypma, who heard the news via NOS.

According to Ypma, postponement is unwise and risky, because you now have to work longer with childcare allowance. Childcare staff could also have worked more hours themselves if the benefits system were to lapse. BMK also has questions about the plan to offer children of non-working parents free childcare from 2028, as the cabinet wanted. “We don’t know what this means for them right now,” says Ypma.

There is also anger at the Foundation for Working Parents. “How can the cabinet let us sit like this?”, says director Marjet Winsemius. The plan to make childcare almost free from 2025 has always been ambitious, according to the foundation. Still, Winsemius is surprised at “the ease” with which the plans are now being postponed. She is also not confident that implementation in 2027, with a new cabinet, will succeed.

  • Free childcare is postponed for two years, the cabinet is making cuts for the first time in years
  • Interior

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