Talks between social service authorities and child care providers over the coming year's child care budget are progressing with both sides eager to reach a speedy agreement, according to an announcement made on Thursday. The two sides came together for much needed talks after a new policy increasing the basic right to care from four to five hours for children between the ages of three and six was approved earlier this year. The new policy is expected to place increased demand on child care providers at the same authorities are intending to cut funding. This year, €348 million ($429 million) was allocated, while that figure will be reduced to €315 million next year. The number of children in care is expected to jump by 5,000 to 55,000. Representatives for the caregivers association's say they will not be able to meet the demand with less money available unless they lay-off many workers and compromise quality.