Uncertainty Over Daycare Behind Falling Population, Minister Says ({{commentsTotal}})

Minister of Social Affairs Taavi Rõivas
Minister of Social Affairs Taavi Rõivas Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Social affairs minister Taavi Rõivas said that young families are worried about the uncertainty of daycare facilities in urban centers, which is a factor in Estonia's low birth rate.

“I claim that right now, the largest obstacle in Estonia for young families, being in the target group myself, is that there is great uncertainty over daycare,” he said in Parliament on Wednesday.

The minister added that long queues in Tallinn and larger towns is a bottleneck that will be dealt with, uudised.err.ee reported.

The plan involves using EU funds to make sure that local governments can build kindergartens and ensure places for children. That will increase the confidence of young families, the minister said.

Talking about child benefits and poverty, Rõivas said he didn’t support tripling benefits. Instead the focus should be on needs-based benefits and also economic policy solutions like reducing unemployment and raising salaries.

Citing the link between poverty and unemployment, Rõivas said that ensuring profitable jobs is the essential instrument of preventing poverty and reducing the risk of poverty in families.