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Day care, parents to feel pinch of austerity plans

The incoming government says it can save about 24 million euros by tightening restrictions on child day care access to families with an unemployed parent. The new government, led by Prime Minister-designate Juha Sipilä, revealed a plan on Wednesday to make 6 billion euros of savings by 2021.

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Image: Paula Koskinen / Yle

If and when these new saving proposals on child day care services are implemented, if one parent is unemployed – or stays at home for other reasons - then their children would only be eligible to half-time day care programmes.

In order to save even more, the incoming government also proposes to make changes to the size of day care groups.

Day care groups for children over the age of three would be increased by one, bringing the number of children in those groups to eight. The current day care personnel-to-child ratio in that age group is one to seven, respectively.

The incoming government says some 30 million euros would be saved by decreasing the total number of groups though increasing group size.

The new lawmakers are looking for additional savings though cutting support for school clubs by 10 million euros.

One change for the positive in the new government’s budget plans however, is to begin language lessons for youngsters earlier and to increase physical education activities in schools.

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