Austria: Childcare for toddlers rises rapidly in 10 years
According to an analysis by the Chamber of Labour, based on Statistik Austria data, the availability of childcare for toddlers (children under the age of three) has increased dramatically in the past 10 years. The total number of nursery places has almost tripled from 20,000 in 2003–2004 to 55,000 in 2013–2014. As a result, the percentage of toddlers in care facilities has increased from 8.5% to 23% over the same period. However, there are significant differences across the provinces: in Vienna, 40% of toddlers are in formal childcare, compared with 11.9% in the province of Styria and 12.8% in Upper Austria. The proportion of places for which care is provided at least 45 hour per week and 9.5 hours per day, thereby allowing parents to work full time, has also increased, from 12,000 in 2003–2004 to 33,500 in 2013–2014.
As women are largely responsible for the care of small children in families, the greater availability of care facilities for toddlers is an important step towards gender equality.
The blog article Kinderbetreuung: Hohe dynamik grosse Unterschiede bei Bundesländern discusses the topic in greater detail.