Photo description: Kinderen spelen in een speeltuin op een schommel op bonaire.

Who looks after children in the Caribbean Netherlands when their parents are at work?

In 2022, there were almost 3,300 parents on Bonaire with children under 12 living at home, over 500 on St Eustatius and nearly 300 on Saba. Of all working parents with young children, 63 percent used formal childcare at least once per week, such as a nursery, preschool or out-of-school care. The highest share was seen on St Eustatius at 79 percent, versus 61 percent on Bonaire and 51 percent on Saba.

Instead of formal childcare, parents can also opt for (several) other types of childcare, including unpaid childcare by family, friends, neighbours or a voluntary organisation. This was most common on Saba at 24 percent, while on St Eustatius and Bonaire the respective shares were 17 and 13 percent. On Saba, children were also more likely to be cared for by a parent than on the other islands (22 percent). This took place both within and outside the household (if parents do not live together). Eight percent used childcare less than once per week or not at all. This was true for more parents on Bonaire (9 percent) than on Saba (4 percent) and St Eustatius (5 percent).

Forms of childcare used (at least once per week)1), 2022 (% of working parents
(15 to 74 yrs) with children
under 12 living at home)
Categorie Bonaire St Eustatius Saba
Nursery, preschool or out-of-school care 61.1 79.3 50.9
Unpaid childcare by family, friends, neighbours or volunteers 13.2 17.0 24.3
Care by parent within or outside household 10.2 3.9 22.5
Other or unknown 9.2 1.6 9.4
Paid care by caregiver or childminder 4.8 1.4 3.4
No care 9.0 4.7 4.5
1) Multiple answers are possible.
76% of parents share childcare responsibilities on Statia, a higher percentage than average

9 in 10 parents in the Caribbean Netherlands had paid work

On Saba, 94 percent of the parents with children under 12 living at home were in paid employment, against 91 percent on Bonaire and 90 percent on St Eustatius. This is the net labour participation rate.noot1

On St Eustatius, the average working time of parents with children under 12 living at home was 39.9 hours per week, which was higher than on Bonaire (38.0 hours) and Saba (37.2 hours).

Net labour participation rate of parents (15 to 74 yrs) with children under 12 living at home, 2022 (%)
eiland Total Men Women
Bonaire 90.8 96.2 85.5
St Eustatius 89.9 95.9 86.5
Saba 94.0 97.0 91.3

Equal division of childcare mainly on St Eustatius

Couples in the Caribbean Netherlands with children under the age of 12 living at home were also asked how they divide the care for their children. On St Eustatius, 76 percent of parents shared their care tasks more or less equally. On Saba, it was lower: 29 percent.

Division of childcare tasks, 2022 (% of working parents
(15 to 74 yrs) with children
under 12 living at home)
eiland Both share tasks more or less equally Both, but the mother takes on most tasks Both, but the father takes on most tasks Only the mother Only the father Unknown
Bonaire 49.1 34.9 9.4 3.1 1.5 2.1
St Eustatius 76.1 12.4 9.0 2.5 0.0 0.0
Saba 28.5 33.9 18.6 14.0 3.6 1.4

More information about childcare (Dutch only)

Noten

Net labour participation rate

The employed labour force as a share of the overall population (both included and not included in the labour force).

This definition concerns the population residing in the Caribbean Netherlands (excluding the institutional population). Data are generally presented for the population aged 15 to 74 years.

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