The Danish government is planning to spend a historic 2.5 billion kroner over the next four years on improving daycare services, revealed the prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the interior minister, Morten Østergaard, and the social affairs minister, Manu Sareen, as they presented the long-awaited children’s package today.
According to the ministers, the days the children spend at daycare institutions –nurseries (vuggestuer) and kindergartens (børnehaver) – should be filled with play, learning and development in the presence of skilled and dedicated adults.
Giving children the attention they deserve
“We know that the first six years of children’s lives determine what opportunities they get later in life,” stated Sareen.
“That’s why we are giving children aged 0 to 6 years the attention they deserve with a historic increase in funds for daycare institutions.”
The package, entitled ‘A good start in life for all children’, should provide a good starting point for all children aged 0 to 6 years and ensure a broad improvement in the quality of daycare services, including more and better qualified teaching staff, an improved working environment, and more coherence between daycare, leisure-time and school.
Breaking the cycle of disadvantage
The interior minister strongly believes that children’s backgrounds should not determine their future.
“If there is one thing I would change about Danish society, then it would be to break the cycle of disadvantage,” said Østergaard.
“With this initiative, we will take action with early intervention – even before children come to school.”
The budget is within the previously announced framework of the 0.6 percent growth for public spending.
The children’s package is expected to be the last stone on the road towards the upcoming election campaign.