This week, the federal government voted in favour of providing more money to parents for childcare, reported RTS.
Parliament voted 107 versus 79 in favour of higher subsidies for childcare up to the end of primary school. The federal government is funding the creation of extra capacity in nurseries and other childcare facilities.
Valérie Piller Carrard, a member of a commission looking at the subject, said that more than 72,000 new nursery place will be create thanks to federal government funding.
However, federal funding will only run until the end of 2024 and not everyone in government was supportive of the plan. Some members of parliament see childcare as the responsibility of municipalities and cantons rather than the federal government. In addition, they point out the financial difficulties faced at a federal level. Since the pandemic, spending has grown beyond federal government revenues causing negative budgets that risk breaching Switzerland’s budget limits set out in its debt brake mechanism. This means some politicians feel a constant pressure to push back against any new spending plans.
Key arguments in favour of greater childcare spending included, better work life balance, higher rates of female workforce participation, reduced worker shortages and higher equality of opportunity for children.