Cabinet tightens quality requirements for childcare | News item

News item | 01-03-2024 | 2:05 PM

There are currently major differences in the quality of care offered by childminders. To ensure that children everywhere can develop properly, the government wants to lay down additional quality requirements by law. This includes establishing four basic pedagogical goals in law, an obligation to continuously work on the development of children and annual coaching for all childminders. The bill will be sent to the House of Representatives today and serves as the first step to tighten the quality requirements for childcare.

The National Childcare Quality Monitor shows that a large group of childminders provide high-quality childcare. At the same time, 1 in 5 childminders have low, or very low, pedagogical quality. This means that children are stimulated in their development to a limited extent. A missed opportunity, which is why this bill imposes additional quality requirements. To help childminders comply with the new measures, the maximum hourly price for childminder care will be increased by €0.21 in 2025.

Minister Van Gennip: “Parents must be able to trust that their child is in good hands at childcare. Fortunately, the Netherlands has a very high quality of childcare. However, I still see too many differences in quality within childcare, which is why I am now taking various measures. I understand that this requires extra effort for some childminder agencies and childminders, but ultimately this ensures that children can develop better.”

Measures to guarantee the quality of childminders

The bill includes 4 basic pedagogical goals, which already apply to daycare centers and after-school care, in the law for childminders. These goals are: to provide emotional security for the child, to promote personal and social qualities and to convey norms and values. There is also a maximum of 2 childcare agencies with which a childminder can be affiliated. Finally, a pedagogical policy officer will be introduced who will offer childminders pedagogical coaching. This is also an existing requirement in day care and after-school care.

A number of requirements are being elaborated in a so-called order in council. For example, host parents must draw up a pedagogical work plan themselves and continue to work on their development annually. It will also be mandatory for all childminders to arrange a back-up guard who can be on site within 15 minutes in the event of an emergency. The order in council will go online for internet consultation as soon as possible.

Maximum hourly price increased

Some of the childminder agencies and childminders already comply with these measures. For others, this will require an extra effort. That is why Minister Van Gennip is considering a transition period for childminder agencies and childminders to support them as best as possible. In addition, the maximum hourly price for childminder care will be increased by €0.21 in 2025. This means that the rate at which parents receive childcare allowance will increase.