According to Statistics Estonia, in 2010 there were over 100,000 children aged less than 7 in Estonian households, of which over 57,000 went to the kindergarten or crèche.
As a rule, the birth of a child into the family means great changes in work and family life: at least one parent has to quit work for some time. Usually women [t]ake a break and their returning to the labour market depends on which childcare services they can use.
In addition to kindergarten or crèche (in combination or separately) households used in case of 28,000 children the help of relatives or friends living outside the household, who provided childcare service free of charge. With regard to about 17,000 children other childcare options were used (pre-school, hobby group, paid babysitter, etc.). With regard to 35,000 children aged less than 7 no permanent childcare services were used.
Types of childcare and the usage of childcare services largely depended on the age of the child. If over 80% of children aged 3–6 were taken to the kindergarten or crèche, then only one fifth of children aged less than 2 went there.
Nearly a third of households raising children up to 2 years old used also the help of relatives or acquaintances in childcare, but the majority (63%) of parents of so small children did not use childcare services. Among households raising children aged 3–6 the share of those who did not use childcare services was only 11%.
Reconciliation between work and family life was studied by Statistics Estonia in the framework of the Labour Force Survey in 2010. Nearly 1,000 households answered to questions related to childcare services.
More detailed data have been published in the Statistical Database (http://www.stat.ee/sdb-update?....
More than half of children aged less than 7 go to kindergarten or crèche