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Egbert Jongen discusses free childcare

Free childcare: Professor Egbert Jongen sees the potential drawbacks. The allocated budget could be used more effectively, for one thing. He discusses this issue at length with Geert de Wit in Dutch financial newspaper ‘Het Financieele Dagblad’.

What's the ideal scenario, in Jongen’s view? ‘Affordable, good-quality childcare, which is accessible to all children.’ So not just to working parents. The Professor of Economics and Socio-Economic Policy argues that widely accessible childcare is essential. 'We know that children from disadvantaged families benefit the most from childcare, so almost-free childcare would go a long way for this group.’

Professor Jongen and Geert de Wit, Chair of the Branchevereniging Maatschappelijke Kinderopvang (‘Trade Association for Social Childcare’), discuss their views, what's required from the government to enable free childcare, how it could be implemented effectively and how it could affect labour participation.

Lastly, de Jongen advocates a means-tested parental contribution: ‘It acts as a brake, because parents will always protest when things become too expensive too quickly. As a result, there will probably be no need for price regulation.’

More information

The full discussion between these two experts (in Dutch) is available on the Financieele Dagblad website (€).

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