Weighing up the cost of childcare

Switzerland is home to the world’s most expensive childcare and some parents are better off looking after the children themselves. To change this, the government is suggesting introducing special tax breaks. (SRF/

This content was published on October 26, 2016 minutes

For many Swiss families childcare is a big financial burden. Three days a week in a non-subsidised crèche can easily cost CHF20,000 ($20,000) or more a year. Even though parents can deduct some of the costs from their taxes, some still can’t afford it. The cabinet now wants to raise the deductible amount. 

Not everybody’s in favour of the cabinet’s proposal. Some say that a higher tax break would put others at a disadvantage. But what exactly is cabinet proposing?

Today parents who have childcare can deduct up to CHF10,000 from their federal taxes. Cabinet proposes raising this maximal deductible to CHF25,000. In addition cabinet would like to harmonise cantonal tax breaks. Today they vary from between CHF19,000 and CHF3,000 per child, depending on where you live. The government proposes a minimal deduction of CHF10,000 for all cantons. The parliament will decide on the cabinet proposal next year.

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