The Federal Council on Wednesday withdrew its backing for a stimulus programme to boost childcare availability across the country, arguing that the responsibility falls primarily on cantons and municipalities.
In the past 15 years, the Swiss government has spent a total of CHF350 million ($350 million) to increase child care options in a bid to close the gap between supply and demand.
The home affairs ministryexternal link announced the government’s decision to extend funding for a third cycle. This decision was made against the recommendations of the Commission for Science, Education and Cultureexternal link.
Swiss parliament has the final decision on whether the programme will be renewed.
Government funding has created an extra 57,383 new places nationwide since 2003, both at crèches and at supplementary school care centres.
Switzerland has one of the most expensive childcare systems in the world, with demand far exceeding supply.
According to a recent survey, about 20% of pre-school and school age children cannot be cared for outside the home, despite the needs of their working mothers and fathers.