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Childcare arrangements in the EU

In 2020, more than half (53.4%) of all the children aged less than three years in the EU were cared for exclusively by their parents, a 13.4% increase compared with 2019. On the other hand, almost one third (32.3%) of children aged less than 3 were in formal care for at least one hour per week (-8.5% compared with 2019), and one fifth (20.9%) were cared for by their grandparents, other relatives or professional childminders for at least one hour per week (-19.3% compared with 2019).

These changes reflect the impact of COVID-19 measures adopted by the EU Member States to control the spread of the virus.

The share of children under three years of age cared for by only their parents varied considerably across the EU Member States, from a low of 21.9% in the Netherlands and Portugal, and 29.1% in Denmark, up to over 65.0% in Czechia (66.3%), Lithuania (69.5%) and Bulgaria (71.8%), reaching its peak in Germany with 80.2%.

Eurostat, 4 May 2022