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Half of under-threes cared for by their parents only in the EU in 2014

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Publication Date: 
13 May 2016



Half of under-threes cared for by their parents only in the EU in 2014.

Out of a total of 15.5 million children aged less than 3.

Families make use of different arrangements to care for their children under the age of three (under-threes). Some parents care for their children themselves. Other parents make use of day-care centres (formal childcare), childminders, grand-parents, other household members, relatives, friends or neighbours (informal childcare) or a combination of formal and informal childcare. 

In 2014, the European Union (EU) totalled almost 15.5 million children aged under three. Half (50%) of them were cared for by their parents only, while 28% attended at least partially formal care, meaning that the Barcelona target of 33% of under-threes in formal childcare was still not reached. There were however major differences between Member States. 

These data are issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, on the occasion of the International Day of Families celebrated each 15 May. Further data on childcare arrangements for children aged up to 12 are available on the Eurostat website.