This month 25 pedagogical employees from the childcare on Bonaire passed their MBO training to become (assistant) pedagogical employee. With this they are one step closer to meeting the diploma requirements set out in the Island Ordinance Childcare last year as part of the BES(t) 4 kids program. More than half of all childcare professionals meet the required level of education and almost half of them are following a course.
The program BES(t) 4 kids wants to ensure good quality, safe and affordable childcare for children in the Caribbean Netherlands, so that every child has the opportunity to develop to their full potential. For this reason a new Island Ordinance Childcare entered into force in 2020. In this regulation all quality requirements are laid down with which childcare organizations must comply. The requirements also include the educational level of professionals, since good childcare requires sufficiently qualified personnel.
Professionals and host parents on Bonaire must all complete a pedagogical training on at least MBO-3 level in the coming years. In addition, a childcare center must have at least one professional with an education on MBO-4 level, aimed at identifying developmental and learning disabilities. To help realize this, the BES(t) 4 kids program works together with MBO Bonaire. The so-called The BBL courses in which working and learning in childcare can be combined, are offered by MBO Bonaire on levels 2, 3 and 4.
Because a BBL training course is attended in addition to regular working hours, it is quite a challenge for pedagogical employees to finish it. Therefore, in cooperation with BES(t) 4 kids solutions were sought for bottlenecks in the training process. For example, through ‘payroll deferral’ childcare centers can apply for reimbursement of personnel costs for employees participating in a BBL training program. In this way, replacement could be arranged for the hours the employees attend the training during the day.
MBO Bonaire and BES(t) 4 kids are very happy with the high success rate and congratulate the participants. Tamara Nicolaas, project leader BES(t) 4 kids Bonaire: “It is fantastic that the first results of the BES(t) 4 kids program are visible. Of course the BES(t) 4 kids program tries to support childcare organizations as well as possible with improving the quality. But ultimately, it is the people in childcare who provide the progress.”