Setting up a company
How long does it take to set up a company or a branch office in Neuchâtel?
In theory, if the application file is complete (rarely the case), it could be listed in the canton’s daily register within two days then be published in the Swiss Official Gazette of Commerce – SOGC – within the next two days. As far as the Trade Register – registre de commerce, or RC – is concerned, the time required is therefore four working days.
Prior preparation by the notary can take anything between one day and several months, depending on the complexity of the application. Time needs to be allowed for the notary to collect all the information that is required or may be useful for the establishing of the customary documents and liaise with the trust company, which, more often than not, needs to be involved in the legal structure.
What is required to set up a business in Neuchâtel?
The requirements according to type of legal status are detailed on the website of the commercial register of the canton of Neuchâtel. The requirements will depend on the legal status of the company. For example, limited companies, LLCs and foundations must be set up through a notary.
What are the costs involved in setting up a company in Neuchâtel?
The cost of setting up a company in the canton depends on the cost of the listing in the commercial register, the notary’s fees for establishing the company’s legal status and the cost of the fiduciary service required. The costs for the notary and the fiduciary services will depend on the complexity of the application. The capital contribution required for the setting up of certain types of company also need to be included in anticipated expenses.
Listing in the commercial register :
For a listing in the canton’s commercial register, you will need to pay a federal registration tax and a charge imposed by the canton. You need to reckon on a few hundred francs on average, according to the company’s legal status.
How can qualified staff be recruited?
The canton of Neuchâtel has a number of specialised business schools, universities and research centres of international renown (EPFL, Haute École-Arc, University of Neuchâtel, CSEM, etc.) and professional training establishments (CIFOM and CPLN). As a result, each year hundreds of future employees are trained in diverse sectors, ready to join a company. This, together with the presence of many SMEs and multinationals across all fields (medical technology, pharmaceuticals, microtechnology, machine tools, renewable energy, financial services, watchmaking, luxury, TIC, etc.), provides companies with access to a large qualified labour pool, locally, in Switzerland and in neighbouring France. Recruitment in Europe is also facilitated by agreements with the European Union.
Recruitments can easily be made via professional schools and universities, via an advertisement on specialised digital recruitment websites or in local newspapers, or, where searches for particular profiles are concerned, via head-hunting organisations.
Neuchâtel labour market office agents also have access to an extensive regional, cantonal, national and European network to help you search for future employees. Their advisers seek out precisely the profiles that best match your business and quickly put you in touch with potential candidates for permanent or temporary positions, in line with your specific requirements.
How much flexibility can the Neuchâtel employment market offer?
Swiss legislation is very flexible, a factor in favour of company competitiveness. The Swiss labour market is known for its very high level of employment and one of the most flexible regulatory systems. Both the employer and the employee benefit from this flexibility, together with legal protection. The departure of an employee or their dismissal by the employer can take place at any time as long as Swiss law, the conditions of the employment contract and any collective agreements by which the company is bound are respected. This is one of the factors that make Switzerland highly attractive for both foreign companies and workers. It allows rapid adaptability in the face of positive or negative changes in the company’s economic situation and this constantly creates employment, as companies have no fear of taking on new employees at any time on a permanent-contract basis. This win-win situation also applies to the canton of Neuchâtel.
Companies in the canton of Neuchâtel can draw on a large recruitment pool, since Swiss and cross-border employees are generally flexible with regard to their commuting. Mobility is encouraged by efficient transport infrastructures. In addition, interim working and teleworking have also seen strong development in recent years, which favours applications from more distant regions.
How high are labour costs in Switzerland?
Switzerland is highly competitive with regard to the productivity of its workforce thanks to a high rate of employment, and to a longer working week (40 to 44 hours) and less holidays (4 to 5 weeks per year) than in neighbouring countries. Absenteeism rates are very low and union actions practically non-existent. These factors make Switzerland a highly attractive country for companies. The level of salaries is relatively high but this reflects the country’s strong performance and its marked prosperity: high salaries are a sign of success and attract a qualified labour force.
In a comparative study of cities made in 2015, the gross salaries for Zurich and Geneva were classed in top position, even ahead of Luxembourg and New York in this respect. Obviously, the salary levels in Switzerland depend on the region where the company is set up. It should be noted that deductions (taxes, social security charges) are lower than those applicable in other countries, so that Switzerland takes first place for net earnings.
To find out more on salary costs, employment contracts, the working week, holidays, social security charges and recruitment searches, visit the website of the Greater Geneva Bern Area (GGBa)
How does the cost of qualified labour compare with that of other Swiss cantons?sses ?
The canton of Neuchâtel enjoys a lower cost of living than found in other cantons or regions with a similar lifestyle (Riviera, vineyard, university town, etc.). In particular, the average cost of home rental is 30% to 80% lower than in the cantons of Zurich, Zug, Vaud and Geneva. Consequently, the salary levels are generally lower than in these other regions, which enables companies to maintain a lower salary bill for the employment of qualified employees with identical profiles and professional experience.
What procedures are necessary to obtain a work permit for a citizen of a non-EU country?
Work permits are issued to citizens of non-EU countries who have a highly specialised profile and whose presence is crucial to the proper development of the company. Each application will be individually examined.
The procedure for non-member nationals to obtain a residence and work permit is explained on the website of the canton’s migration service.
What is required for EU nationals to obtain a work permit?
The procedure for recruiting an EU national has been simplified. The citizen simply requires an employment contract with a Swiss company, and the procedure is overseen by the municipality concerned (the municipality in which the company is established for cross-border workers or the municipality of residence for workers who have come to live in the region).
The procedure for a European Union national to obtain a work permit is explained on the canton’s migration service website.
What mandatory insurances is a company obliged to subscribe to?
Two types of insurance exist for companies. Social security charges (insurance for old age and survivors/invalidity assurance, accident insurance, etc.) cover the entrepreneur and their employees whereas the company insurance covers the company itself.
The need for social security insurance depends on the legal form of the company. The company’s insurance needs will depend on the risks involved (product risks, plant risks, export risks, health risks, etc.)
Social security insurance can be subscribed to with the insurer of your choice.
The Confederation’s website will provide you with all the information on insurance subscription requirements if you set up your company in Switzerland.
To find out more about the employment market, salary costs and social security insurance, visit the website of the Greater Geneva Bern Area (GGBa).
Legal forms for a corporate entity
What are the various legal forms that can be envisaged for a corporate entity?
The website of the Neuchâtel commercial register sets out the various legal forms that can be envisaged and, for the main types of company, has established leaflets that summarise the formalities that need to be completed and the original documents that need to be submitted for an initial listing in the commercial register, or its modification or cancellation.
The Confederation’s website also presents a detailed comparison between the different legal forms (advantages, disadvantages, legal bases, capital contributions, organisation, etc.)
Services for companies
Why should you contact the Service of the Economy (NECO) ?
If you are a business or project developer and you have questions about your economic activity, the development of your company, a project implementation plan or your relationships with other services of the state, you can contact the NECO. The Service of the Economy can answer your questions, guide and support you, or put you in touch with the right partners.
Discover the various services offered by the Service of the Economy.
Can the Service of the Economy help me make contact with a company in the region?
Yes, the Service of the Economy can put you in touch under certain conditions. The service/product proposed by the company must be of strategic significance and must not already be available in the region (no direct competition for companies already in the canton). There must also be mutual benefit for the two companies put in touch with one another. The Service of the Economy cannot help with acquiring clients or with advertising on behalf of a company.
Under what conditions can coaching be provided?
The Service of the Economy does not offer coaching services directly but can put you in touch with partner organisations that will be able to provide you with support if you have an innovative business project (innovative product or service, organisational innovation, development of distribution, looking for new markets, seeking financing, etc.).
To qualify for coaching proposed by the Platinn innovation platform, the company must in principle be an SME or a start-up in Western Switzerland having a project with a multiplying effect (creation of employment, increase in turnover, etc.). The services are provided by a network of accredited coaches. If needs be, they can bring in specialised partners in fields such as the protection of intellectual property, financing and technical, legal or other issues.
By the end of 2019, the Microcity innovation pole will also be offering an innovation support programme conceived and tailor-made for Neuchâtel SMEs. In the meantime, you can already contact the Service of the Economy to let us know about your innovation projects. We will be delighted to hear about them and see how we can help you or guide you.
For innovative projects that are not technological in nature, the Genilem foundation can also provide support in the form of coaching.
Finance provided by the canton
What types of projects receive financial assistance from the canton?
Several types of project may receive support. Projects that create added economic value for the export sector, along with projects that fall within the canton’s ten strategic business areas (SBAs).
The law for promoting economic development – LADE – also encourages the diversification of the economic fabric. Consequently, projects that do not fall within the SBAs may receive assistance if they create value for the regional economy.
Tourism projects that improve the visibility of the canton and create economic value for the region may also receive subsidy support from the Service of the Economy.
The regional economic impact is therefore at the heart of every decision to provide support, and the potential leverage effects in terms of private investment are naturally taken into account. It is also important to note that the aid is in the form of a subsidy intended to boost a project that should be self-sufficient in the long term.
How does one find financing in the canton of Neuchâtel?
Through its Service of the Economy, the State of Neuchâtel also supports the setting up of companies and pioneering development projects by offering certain subsidies. The projects supported must lead to the creation of added value in the export economy and must involve one of the canton’s ten strategic business areas (SBAs).
Under certain conditions, the Cautionnement Romand can facilitate access for independent workers and small and medium enterprises (SME) to bank credit by providing counter-guarantees for their bank loans (maximum sum counter-guaranteed of CHF 1,000,000).
The Finergence foundation can also offer financial support in the form of a loan, to pave the way for the launching of pioneering new companies with innovative scientific or technological projects. Its support is provided before any involvement of other sources of financial support such as banks or capital-risk companies.
Still at canton level, the Platinn innovation platform offers a finance seeking service for innovative French-speaking companies.
The Foundation for Technological Innovation (FIT) is also involved in the assisting and development of French-speaking start-ups through targeted financial aid.
To seek financing, companies can contact a banking establishment:
For companies with the potential to offer strong growth and quick returns (start-ups involved in new technologies or niche sectors of high added value), capital-risk companies can contribute to the share capital The amounts invested can be considerable and constitute an undeniable risk. Generally, these organisations quickly withdraw from the new company by selling their shares to other investors. In Switzerland, capital-risk companies are grouped in the umbrella association SECA (Swiss Private Equity & Corporate Finance Association).
Business Angels are further private investors who support the same type of innovation- and growth-promising companies as the capital-risk organisations. Their expectations in terms of return on investment are the same. The sums invested are generally lower. Often entrepreneurs themselves, Business Angels also offer the benefit of their experience. They usually show strong commitment during the start-up phase, serving as advisers and mentors.
Recognised as a non-profit organisation of public utility, the Fondation Microcrédit Solidaire Suisse (Swiss micro-credit for solidarity foundation) also helps people in search of economic independence who don’t have access to bank credit for the creation of their company. Microcredits of up to CHF 30,000 are awarded to selected projects, at preferential rates and with convenient reimbursement schedules.
The aim of the INNOSUISSE boosting programme for manufacturing technologies is to encourage innovative projects at the interface between research and technology transfer led by Swiss companies, in conjunction with research institutions, in the fields of Industry 4.0 and modern fabrication technologies by making use of digital technologies.
The European Union’s Eurosearch programmes also support technological research and development in Europe in order to find a response to tomorrow’s major societal challenges. Close collaborations between R&D institutes, universities and industry are established on an international scale, favouring the transfer of technologies and employment creation.
What documentation is required to submit an application for financial support to the Service of the Economy – NECO?
An official application must be submitted together with a detailed presentation of the project and quantified data (business plan, detailed budget forecast, etc.). The project’s impact and added value for the region’s economy or tourism must also be emphasised. For project leaders or entrepreneurs having difficulty in providing these elements, the coaching services can assist them in putting together an application. In all cases, a project summary must be provided in advance and the project must already have reached a certain level of maturity (precise project).
What procedures are required to take advantage of a transfer of technology?
You can contact the Microcity innovation pole regarding the seeking of scientific, industrial or innovation partners in the canton in connection with a technology transfer project.
Regarding financing, assistance is possible under certain conditions for pilot technology transfer projects aimed at producing prototypes for a feasibility study.
You can also contact Alliance (an organisation that creates links between companies and laboratories with a view to intensifying technology transfers, for the double benefit of entrepreneurs and researchers in French-speaking Switzerland) in order to assist you, especially in the setting up of Innosuisse (previously CTI) projects.
What help does the canton offer for a start-up or a company with an innovation project?
The Service of the Economy is available to examine your project, point you in the right direction, provide you with financial support if certain conditions are met and, above all, put you in touch with partner entities able to assist you in the development of your company.
For start-ups, the Microcity innovation pole offers a programme of coaching, hosting and incubation. They can thus benefit from internal expertise in innovation, business development, company management, accounting and communications. The Microcity innovation pole is thus the hub for entrepreneurs in the canton of Neuchâtel. It supports the creation and development of start-ups and helps speed up technology transfer and collaboration with the region’s industry.
The Platinn innovation platform also offers coaching services and assistance with seeking financing for start-ups in Western Switzerland that have a project with a multiplying effect (creating employment, increasing turnover, etc.). The services are provided by a network of accredited coaches. If needs be, they can bring in specialised partners in fields such as the protection of intellectual property, financing and technical, legal or other issues.
By the end of 2019, the Microcity innovation pole will also be offering an innovation support programme conceived and tailor-made for Neuchâtel SMEs. In the meantime, whether you are an SME or a large company, you can already contact the Service of the Economy to let us know about your innovation projects. We will be delighted to hear about them and see how we can help you or guide you.
Which institutes are likely to cooperate with my company on an innovation project?
The Microcity innovation pole groups together a number of players (EPFL, CSEM, HE-ARC, University of Neuchâtel, CIFOM, CPLN, etc.) with combined academic, research and industrialisation expertise of an international level in a wide range of fields. However, microtechnology and nanotechnology and their spin-offs, micro-manufacture and industrialisation processes are really central to our regional know-how.
Don’t hesitate to contact the Microcity innovation pole to find out which player will be best placed to help you with your innovation project. The pole will then be able to put you in touch with them.
The Neuchâtel economic ecosystem
What are the canton’s main fields of expertise?
Neuchâtel is the canton that specialises in small, precise, complex, reliable and high added value products.
With watchmaking as a starting point, the canton naturally diversified and specialised. Today, Neuchâtel’s industrial base includes flagships of worldwide industry in widely varying sectors such as medical technology, pharmaceuticals, the luxury sector, machine tools, precision instruments, information and communications technology – ICT – and renewable energy.
However, with the presence of the CSEM (Swiss Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology) and a number of industries in the field, the canton particularly stands out for its microtechnology and nanotechnology. The canton’s expertise in the production of IOT components with low-consumption electronics is particularly worthy of note. The canton is also a cluster for renewable energy and is developing a pole of space expertise.
What are the canton’s main industries?
The main industries in the canton are watchmaking and luxury goods, the pharmaceutical industry, the photovoltaic industry, information and communication technologies (TIC), machine tools and precision instruments and strategic services. These industries also benefit from the presence of many other companies established in the region offering strategic services (wealth management, financial services, computing services, etc.).
What is a Strategic Business Area (SBA)?
A strategic business area is a sector that is of high priority for the canton of Neuchâtel in terms of development and support, in connection with the policy of consolidation of the existing buoyant sectors and diversification of the economic fabric.
The law on economic development support (loi sur l’appui au développement économique, or LADE) therefore gives priority to companies and projects in the following ten business sectors :
- Luxury industry,
- Machine industry,
- Medical devices industry,
- Pharmaceutical industry,
- Electronics and microelectronics,
- Computer science and telecommunications,
- Renewable energies,
- Agri-food industry,
- Strategic and financial services for companies.
How does the tax system work in Switzerland and in Neuchâtel?
In Switzerland, fiscal sovereignty traditionally belongs to the cantons. The Confederation can only levy taxes to a limited extent. This is why there are differences between cantons regarding taxation, inciting the public authorities to provide efficient services and infrastructures of quality for their regions.
As far as the canton is concerned, capital stock companies (public limited companies, SA; limited-responsibility companies, Sàrl; partnerships limited by shares, SCA); cooperatives; associations, foundations and other legal entities with their registered office, their effective administration or an economic interest (e.g. a business branch or the ownership of a building) in the canton of Neuchâtel, are required to submit a tax return.
For private persons, it is on the basis of your tax return that your taxable earnings and wealth will be determined. In other words, your earnings and your wealth, less any legal deductions to which you are entitled.
Setting up a business in the canton of Neuchâtel
Do you have to take out personal health insurance in Switzerland / in the canton of Neuchâtel?
Yes, in Switzerland, every resident must take out basic health insurance (Loi fédérale sur l’assurance maladie or LAMal) for themselves and their family, with the health insurer of their choice. The various insurers propose premiums that vary based on various parameters, such as age, sex, the canton of residence and the amount of the annual deductible. It is important to know that the services covered by this basic insurance are governed by Swiss law and are therefore rigorously identical from one health insurer to another.
Access to healthcare, including that of specialists, is guaranteed, irrespective of your earnings. The legal provisions of the federal law on health insurance (LAMal) are very strict, in order to avoid any discrimination. Thus, the insurers do not have the right to refuse anyone, to exclude them or to modify their monthly premium in the event of illness. Furthermore, they do not have the right to ask for completion of a health questionnaire.
Those wishing to benefit from special care can take out complementary insurance. Various additional cover options are offered, depending on the services required: alternative medicine, dental care, treatment in private clinics etc. In contrast to the basic insurance, the health insurers can demand completion of a health questionnaire when providing complementary cover.
It should be noted that medical care required by an employee as a result of an accident is covered by the employer’s insurance. Otherwise, this option will need to be added to the cover provided by the basic LAMal insurance.
Which airports are the most accessible from Neuchâtel?
The canton of Neuchâtel is strategically located between the international airports of Geneva, Zurich and Basel. There are more than 600 flights every day from these airports, which are served by direct trains from Neuchâtel, taking 1h15 for Geneva, 1h30 for Basel and 2h for Zurich respectively. The same times apply for travel by car, thanks to an efficient road system.
With Eplatures airport at La Chaux-de-Fonds, Neuchâtel also has its own business airport equipped for instrument flying and offering a permanent customs service. Private aeroplanes and helicopters can thus land in the heart of Neuchâtel’s zone of economic activity and provide connections with the whole of Switzerland, including the intercontinental airports of Geneva and Zurich.
Is the price of housing the same as in the neighbouring cantons?
Housing prices always depend on the residential location in the canton. For example, in the towns of Le Locle and La Chaux-de-Fonds, whose architecture features in the UNESCO World Heritage list, you can find spacious flats of character with mouldings and chimneys at very affordable prices compared with other cantons and regions. Housing prices in Val-de-Travers or Val-de-Ruz are also very reasonably priced in comparison with the neighbouring cantons (Fribourg, Vaud, Bern) and offer an idyllic living environment surrounded by nature. The zone along the shores of Lake Neuchâtel, with its vineyards, is of course more sought after, with higher rents than elsewhere in the canton or in the rural areas of the neighbouring cantons. However, renting or buying a flat or house on the Neuchâtel riviera offers more advantages and is easier than along the coast of Lake Geneva or in the region of Zurich.
For comparison, the average cost a renting a home is 30% to 80% less expensive than in the cantons of Zurich, Zug, Vaud and Geneva.
What does the canton offer in the way of culture?
Cultural life in the canton is rich and varied. There are several websites providing information on the concerts, dance shows, plays, exhibitions, festivals and other events that take place every week in the canton’s various theatres, towns and villages.
In addition, the Jura3lacs and Neuchâtel tourism websites provide you with a non-exhaustive list of the many sporting activities really worth trying out and the cultural activities and gastronomic events that you should not miss.
The canton has a number of events that mark the course of the year. For example, we could cite the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival NIFFF, the Festi’Neuch music festival, La Plage des Six Pompes, the Buskers Festival, the Neuchâtel Arts Festival or the famous Grape Harvest Festival in Neuchâtel, which draws about 200,000 people every last weekend in September.
What associations are there, to help new inhabitants settle in?
The expatriates’ network InterNations Neuchâtel regularly organises events where the region’s expatriates can meet up and forge links. The network’s website also serves for exchanges of advice and this is already a first step towards successful integration in the region.
However, it is through cultural and sporting activities, school events and festive events, as well as through their professional activities, that expatriates will have the best chance of fitting into the local community and learning French. Certain local authorities offer French courses to their new arrivals, just as the state schools do for children who have just moved to Switzerland.
Certain public establishments (bars, restaurants, pubs) are also known to be gathering places for expatriates, particularly in the English-speaking community, and allow you to develop relations with other expatriates or members of other foreign communities.
If required, the Service of the Economy can also recommend relocation agencies that will know how to facilitate the arrival of expatriate employees in the canton of Neuchâtel (housing, schools, administrative procedures, contacts, etc.). The Service of the Economy can also link up new arrivals with other expatriates living in the region.
What are the administrative procedures required to move into one of the canton’s towns or villages?
When you move into in one of the Neuchâtel canton’s towns or villages, you must inform the residents registration office (contrôle des habitants) of the town or village concerned of your arrival within 14 days of your moving in and provide certain mandatory documents (certificate of origin, family civil status booklet and identity card at least).
Depending on your region or country of origin (Switzerland, EU/EFTA or a country outside Europe) and your situation (employee, student, family regrouping etc.), you will be asked for different documents for the obtaining of your certificate of residence and that of your family.
Please get in touch with your town or village council in advance (via the website or by telephone) in order to find which documents to produce and the exact procedure.
What options does the canton offer for the education of my children?
The Swiss education system is considered to be one of the best in the world. The World Economic Forum (WEF) regularly places Switzerland in the world’s top 3 along with Finland and Norway in terms of the education of its population (capacity to maximize human capital).
The Swiss state schools do indeed offer a very high level of teaching and the curricula are standardised across each region. Whatever the town or village in which your child attends school, the curriculum and the learning requirements will therefore be identical, which is why there are few private fee-paying schools in the whole of Switzerland. You can therefore have every confidence in sending your child to school in the town or village in which you wish to live. If your child does not speak French, he or she will be offered support classes directly within the school.
Schooling in an international school is also possible at the International School of Neuchâtel (bilingual French-English teaching by immersion) for children of up to 12 years of age (up to the 8th year HarmoS), then at the École Moderne for children of between 13 and 16 years of age (up to the 11th year HarmoS). The two schools are grouped on the same campus in Neuchâtel.
Does the canton of Neuchâtel have an international school?
Yes, you can send your children of from 3 to 12 years old (up to the 8th year HarmoS) to the International School of Neuchâtel (bilingual French-English teaching by immersion). Adolescents of between 13 and 16 years of age (years 9 to 11 HarmoS) can continue their schooling at the École Moderne, a private school offering bilingual French-English teaching. The two schools are grouped on the same campus in Neuchâtel
Other private schools exist in the canton but they are not bilingual.
What childcare options does the canton offer on weekdays?
What childcare options does the canton offer on weekdays?
There are several care options for your children during the week. They will depend on the age of your child and your requirements in terms of care and education.
The crèches are very professional and generally welcome children aged between 3 months and 4 years. They remain open throughout the day and offer a midday meal. The rates vary, depending on the type of crèche (subsidised by the state or private).
There are also nurseries and kindergartens of limited opening times that enable parents to leave their children of preschool age a few hours or half-days per week. They sometimes offer theme workshops (music, painting, drawing, etc.).
If you require more personalised care, accredited childminders also look after children, alone or in restricted numbers, in their homes. Often parents themselves, they offer more flexible hours than the collective structures. This system also receives subsidies from the State of Neuchâtel.
Private minding in your home by a private nanny, babysitter or au pair is also possible.
How do the crèches and the structures offering extracurricular activities function in the canton of Neuchâtel?
The crèches are very professional and generally welcome children aged between 3 months and 4-5 years. They remain open throughout the day and offer a midday meal.
The structures offering extracurricular activities outside school hours cater for primary school children, i.e. up to an age of between 10 and 12 years. Their hours vary, but in principle, they all welcome children before the start of school, at lunchtime with meal included, and in the afternoon after school.
Where rates are concerned, the subsidised crèches and structures offering after-school activities – public or private – charge an hourly or daily rate in accordance with a scale laid down by the State of Neuchâtel. This takes into account the parents’ taxable income and the number of children placed per family. The private non-subsidised structures charge fixed rates that vary from structure to structure.
Parents wishing to benefit from extracurricular activities for their child can join the canton’s waiting list indicating their preferred childcare structure(s).
The policies of the canton of Neuchâtel are generally family-friendly. Besides offering subsidised childcare schemes whose rates compare favourably with those along the shore of Lake Geneva, they adapt to the increasing demand from families hoping to find places in before- and after-school activity programmes easily and quickly. In addition to the places existing at present, the canton is committed to creating nearly 2,400 places in before-school care and 3,000 places in after-school activity structures by 2020.