Effective from July 15th the Childcare Island Ordinance is in force on Bonaire, with quality criteria for childcare organisations. From that moment childcare organisations have to apply for an operating licence with the Public Entity Bonaire (OLB). The temporary subsidy scheme also took effect on Bonaire. This allows childcare organisations to lower the childcare costs for parents and to improve the quality.
The Childcare Island Ordinance was approved by the Island Council on July 7, 2020. The ordinance determines that henceforth childcare organisations require an operating licence to be able to offer their services. The ordinance also contains all quality criteria that the organisations must comply with in order to obtain and keep the operating licence. For instance, the maximum number of children per group, the pedagogic quality, the training level of professionals and the safety of areas.
Childcare organisations that have already been caring for children before the ordinance came into force, are granted a reasonable period of time to comply with the quality requirements. In this respect they receive assistance from the BES(t) 4 kids programme. For instance, when preparing a pedagogical policy plan or by training, so that the staff can comply with the education criteria. Childcare organisations that start offering childcare after the date the ordinance came into force, must comply with the quality requirements immediately from the start.
Temporary subsidy scheme
Organisations for childcare and out-of-school care that are in possession of an operating licence can qualify for a cost-price reducing subsidy. For childcare organisations that already cared for children in 2019, it is sufficient if they have submitted the application for an operating licence to the OLB.
Subsidy from August 1st 2020 can be applied for until 31 July 17.00 pm local time.
The cost-price reducing subsidy amounts to a maximum of USD 200 per child per month for day care and USD 150 per child per month for out-of-school care. Childcare organisations on Bonaire that receive the subsidy must reduce the parental contribution to a maximum of USD 200 per month. In addition, a minimum parental contribution of USD 150 per month applies for day care and USD 100 per month for out-of-school care. This is to ensure that the subsidy is also used to improve the quality of childcare. If the parental contribution is already low, the subsidy is intended to improve quality. Parents who cannot afford the minimum parental contribution can apply for a supplementary childcare place subsidy with the OLB.