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Although policies and instruments in support of families may seem wide-ranging, their main goal, regardless of the country in question, can be summarised as creating favourable framework conditions for families through financial support, facilitating a work-family balance, and providing access to childcare.

Public support for families is designed as an essential tool to counter the adverse consequences of demographic changes for labour markets and social security systems in developed countries. Thus, policy instruments aim to increase fertility and female labour market participation.

The type of support that is available for families varies greatly across countries. Key instruments include, for example, child-related leave entitlements, childcare services and direct or indirect subsidies for families (such as childcare benefits, tax benefits) or flexible working measures for working parents.

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