The Market for Childcare in the European Union

Opportunities and Obstacles for Private Providers

Great opportunities in the European Union for private childcare providers

Well-functioning childcare is essential for the development of children, for the labour market participation of parents, and consequently, for the entire society. The member states of the European Union organize and finance childcare in remarkably different ways. In some countries, high quality childcare is available at a low cost to the parents, while in many other countries, availability is limited or the costs prohibitive. From a political perspective, there is a large consensus that childcare availability needs to improve in the European Union. The Lisbon Strategy, the Barcelona targets, as well as the EU strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth all emphasize the need for an increased availability of childcare.