For members


Bonus asilo: How to get help with the cost of childcare in Italy

Parents of young children in Italy can get up to 3,000 euros towards nursery of kindergarten fees. Here's how much you may be entitled to and how to claim in 2023.

Parents of young children in Italy are entitled to government childcare assistance.
Parents of young children in Italy are entitled to government childcare assistance. Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP.

Although the cost of childcare in Italy is lower on average than in some European countries, it still adds up to a significant cost for working families.

Parents in Italy spend a monthly average of €303 per child for a full-time place (around ten hours a day, five days a week) at a public day nursery, or asilo nido, and an average of 324 euros a month for a place in a public kindergarten (scuola materna or scuola dell’infanzia), according to the latest available figures

READ ALSO: How does the cost of childcare in Italy compare to other countries?

Fees are generally higher in northern regions, with the highest monthly nursery fees of all recorded at 515 euros in Lecco, Lombardy.

But help towards the cost of childcare is available in the form of a bonus asilo (‘nursery bonus’), which can be claimed by families of children in public daycare facilities, or in contracted private ones.

Since the measure was first introduced in 2017 – and expanded in 2020 – Italy has provided childcare benefits for parents of children under the age of three, with the aim of boosting Italy’s declining birth rate by supporting more parents in going back to work.

READ ALSO: How much does it cost to raise a child in Italy?

The assistance remains in place for the 2023 school year, with parents able to claim anywhere between 1,500 and 3,000 euros depending on their income bracket.


Parents of children who will be aged three or under from January to August 2023 can claim childcare government assistance, including foster parents.

While the upper limit of 3,000 euros is only for households on the lowest incomes, there’s no upper limit, so every family is eligible to receive at least a 1,500 euro payment.

The payment applies either to nursery care costs or to private childminder fees in the case of children with health conditions that would make it unsafe for them to attend daycare with other children.

How much you can claim

The claimable amount depends on families’ economic situation, which in Italy is calculated as ISEE (Equivalent Financial Position Indicator). The following subsidies are in place:

  • Families with ISEE under 25,000 euros are entitled to an annual budget of 3,000 euros.
  • Families with ISEE between 25,001 euros and 40,000 euros can claim 2,500 euros. 
  • Families with ISEE over 40,001 euros are entitled to aid worth 1,500 euros.

Find out more about your ISEE and how to get it calculated here.

The funds apply to each child in the household that falls in the age range; so for two children under three, the amount of assistance is doubled.

READ ALSO: How much maternity, paternity, and parental leave do you get in Italy?

You can only claim up to the total amount of nursery or childminder fees charged for the year.

When and where to apply

The bonus asilo for the current school year must be requested by midnight on December 31st, 2023 through the INPS website.

Parents with young children in Italy can claim up to 3,000 euros in childcare support. Here’s how to go about it.

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For members


Why are flights to and from Italy so expensive this summer?

The number of people wanting to take a summer holiday this year has skyrocketed, but not everyone will be able to afford to go because of the rise in ticket prices. Why have flights to and from Italy become more expensive?

Why are flights to and from Italy so expensive this summer?

Over the past four years, airline activity has gone from being virtually non-existent because of lockdowns and travel bans during the Covid-19 pandemic, to recovering almost 100 percent over the last couple of years.  

If you’ve been looking for a flight to or from Italy in the summer, you’ll notice that the prices are higher than in previous years, and even more than before the pandemic. 

READ ALSO: Trains and planes: Italy’s new international travel routes in 2023

Furio Truzzi, president of the consumer rights association Assoutenti, told the Corriere della Sera newspaper in April that the cost of domestic flights in Italy had risen by 71.5 percent compared to the previous year, while international flights had gone up by 59 percent.

But it’s not just in Italy where these price rises have been recorded; it’s happening all over Europe.

The average cost of a return air fare from the US to Europe this year is $1,167. That’s a 36 percent increase compared to 2022 prices, Hayley Berg, lead economist for the travel site Hopper, wrote in the company’s 2023 Summer Travel Outlook report.

Why are flights so expensive this summer? 

A combination of factors are conspiring to drive the price of flights up this summer.

The most predictable is the increased cost of jet fuel due to the war in Ukraine.

CEO of easyJet Johan Lundgren told French news agency AFP that because the price of fuel has risen by 71 percent, the average rate of the low-cost carrier has increased by 31 percent (fuel costs amount to around a third of an airline’s total expenses).

Then there’s a current scarcity of raw materials with which to maintain existing aircraft and build new planes.

READ ALSO: REVEALED: How much more will Italian museums cost this summer?

In Boeing’s annual shareholder meeting in April, CEO David Calhoun told attendees that a quality control issue had forced the manufacturer to halt delivery on some of its new planes, meaning there would be 9,000 fewer seats available for travellers this year than expected.

Some low-cost airlines have gone bankrupt, and others’ finances are still recovering from the Covid slump, preventing them from being able to return to full capacity in terms of flight numbers.

Flights from the US to Europe will cost an estimated 36 percent more this summer.

Flights from the US to Europe will cost an estimated 36 percent more this summer. Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP.

Continual strike action by airline personnel is slowing driving up salaries for some workers, which also increases costs.

Crucially, demand for air travel in 2023 continues to outpace supply as travellers who have put their holiday plans on hold for the past few years finally take the plunge, meaning that airlines don’t need to lower their prices. 

How to get a good deal on flights

You may not be able to get flights as cheaply as you once could, but there are still several things you can do to keep your costs down.

Booking months in advance used to be one of the most surefire tactics to lock in good rates – but this seems to be less effective in 2023 than in previous years, presumably because competition is so fierce and everyone else is doing the same.

However, flights almost certainly won’t get any cheaper if you wait till the last minute for a holiday for which you have a specific destination and dates in mind, so it’s still wise to book as far in advance for this as possible.

If you’re more flexible on either location or timing, it’s worth signing up for communications and alerts from travel sites or airlines themselves, so you’re the first to hear when there’s an offer on.

There are still some ways to reduce flight costs this summer.

There are still some ways to reduce flight costs this summer. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP.

Avoiding the peak holiday season in July and August can also help save you money. If it’s possible, take an early summer holiday in early June or a later one towards the end of August and the beginning of September. Travelling on a Thursday instead of a Saturday can also reduce costs.

Searching a flights aggregator like Skyscanner or Momondo will show you all the options available to you for your chosen dates, including indirect routes involving stopovers, which could significantly lower your costs. 

Skyscanner is also currently trialling a new Savings Generator function that will show users the cheapest dates for travel to their chosen destination.

What are the alternatives?

It’s not helpful for transatlantic trips, but rail travel can be a great alternative to flying if you’re travelling within Europe.

Northern Italy has direct train services to France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and even to Germany.

READ ALSO: The train routes connecting Italy to the rest of Europe in 2023

The Nightjet night train will get you all the way from Rome or Florence to Munich or Vienna, allowing you to catch a good night’s sleep and save on hotel costs while you travel.

For train travel around Europe, Interrail passes can often be cheaper than buying individual train tickets, especially if you’re travelling for longer periods of time. Interrail has a youth pass that is up to 23 percent cheaper than an adult pass, which is available to anyone under 28.