Free Provision of kindergarten unfamiliar to many low-income families
60 per cent of low-income families with children in kindergartens do not know the scheme of free core time. For many, reduced payment is also not known.
Minister of Education, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (Conservatives), now implores the municipalities to inform the families better and will strengthen the information work with a grant scheme of NOK 20 million next year to achieve this.
– We have wanted to know more about people’s knowledge of and use of the good rebate schemes that the Government has introduced. It is clear that we need to be better at informing about the schemes that already are in place, says Røe Isaksen.
While six out of ten low-income families who have children in kindergartens do not know about the core time scheme, four out of ten low-income families do not know the scheme of reduced parent pay, according to a new report Statistics Norway (SSB) has compiled at the behest of the Ministry of Education.
Røe Isaksen states that more immigrant children than before go to kindergarten, but admits there is still a job to do to get even more of them to use kindergartens.
Large differences in use
In families with an annual income of less than NOK 150,000, only 43 per cent of one- and two-year-old attend kindergartens. In families whose annual income is more than NOK 700,000, the proportion is 90 per cent.
The report also shows that while families with low income spend an average of 8 per cent of their income on kindergartens, the proportion is 4 per cent in families where the income is higher.
– The Government’s goal of the moderation scheme is that no families should need to spend more than 6 per cent of their annual income on childcare costs. Families should not experience that the kindergarten costs too much, and therefore choosing to keep their children at home, says Røe Isaksen.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today