Danish daycare system left wanting after cuts – The Post

Danish daycare system left wanting after cuts

New parents may need a Plan B

The classes are getting larger and larger (photo: US Department of Defense)
September 20th, 2019 2:58 pm| by Edward Owen

Cuts to funding are creating a deficit of daycare professionals in Denmark.

In a DR survey conducted in 79 of the country’s 98 municipalities, a majority of respondents in 36 of them said that daycare was lacking.   

Union numbers illustrate change
Figures from the FOA trade union registered 18,173 daycare workers ten years ago. But today, that figure has been practically halved to 9,554.

Cuts were initially made during the period due to an excess of workers compared to the number of new children. But as waiting times to send children to daycare increase, it is feared the cuts have been too excessive.     

New babies
In 2008, Denmark’s birth rate was just shy of two births per woman. A steady decline over the following years would see rates of 1.6 in 2013, before a slight recovery to 1.71 in 2016.

Cuts were also made to mirror the drop in demand for care. However, with Danish children beginning daycare at the age of one, the timeframe for an increase in demand is very short.

Quality control
Further issues can arise from longer waiting times for daycare, as parents may have to delay a return to work.

Expert researchers also believe a fall in the quality of care could occur, as potential candidates are put off from entering an understaffed environment.