Together with the public entities of Bonaire and Saba, the Public Entity of St Eustatius (OLS) has drawn up a draft island ordinance for childcare. The Executive Council of Saba has presented the Island Ordinance Childcare to the Island Council and the island ordinance has been approved by the Island Council.
The island ordinance is the base for current as well as new day care and after-school care organizations. As of June 1st 2020, the island ordinance has been enforced for all childcare organizations.
Since the island ordinance came into effect, all children’s centres and registered host parents must have an operating license to provide childcare. All new childcare organizations must first apply for this operating license.
In accordance with the island ordinance; persons interested in establishing a child care or child activity center will need to request a license at the Public Entity. A letter of application addressed to the Executive Council has to include:
- Copy of business license
- In case of a sole proprietorship: name, address, telephone number, proof of registration with the Chamber of Commerce, not older than three months
- In case of a legal entity: names, addresses, dates of birth of board members, copy of articles of incorporation, proof of registration with the Chamber of Commerce, not older than three months and, if applicable, a copy of the register of shares
- Proof of registration in the population register of the applicant and the employees, and a copy of the residence permit
- A Certificate of Good Conduct (Verklaring omtrent gedrag, VOG), not older than two months, of the applicant and professionals
- Maximum number of children and age groups per part of the day
- Maximum number of professionals per part of the day
- Opening and closing hours
- The (proposed) address
- Pedagogical policy plan of children’s centre
- Domestic violence step-by-step plan of children’s centre
- Safety and healthcare policy of children’s centre
- A floor plan
- Proof of payment of fees
The Executive Council will seek advice from the Quality Care Committee regarding the request. The Executive Council has 6-8 weeks to respond to the request. If more time is needed the Executive Council will inform the applicant.
As of January 1st, 2021, childcare and out-of-school care organizations in Saba can qualify for a cost-price reducing subsidy. A childcare organization can use the subsidy to reduce the parental contribution for parents and to take measures to improve the quality of childcare.
Childcare organizations can submit a subsidy application to Implementation and Policy (in Dutch: Uitvoering van Beleid (UVB)). They are supported in this process by the front office which has been established at the Public Entity Saba for this purpose. The front office is located at the Community Development Department.
Amount of cost-price reducing subsidy
The cost-price reducing subsidy in Saba for day care is a maximum of $ 155,- per child per month and for out-of-school care it is a maximum of $ 225,- per child per month.
Amount of parental contribution
The amount of the parental contribution in Saba is $ 100,- per child per month for a full day at day care and $ 50,- per child per month for a half day at day care. The amount for out-of-school care is $ 50,- per child per month..
Parents who cannot afford the parental contribution, can apply for a supplementary childcare subsidy at the Public Entity Saba.
Click here for the temporary subsidy scheme: temporary subsidy scheme.
Supervision of childcare and its quality is the responsibility of the Inspectorate of Education. The Inspectorate can delegate part of the tasks to a local organization when exercising supervision.
The department of Public Health visits the day care on a regular basis to ensure that children are in a safe and hygienic environment. The public health nurses are available for questions related to health such as illness, contagious diseases and the general well-being of children. Please contact the Public Health Department of OLS for further information.
Since the implementation of the island ordinance supervision of child care and child activity centers will be done yearly. Inspections and supervision will also be implemented on a yearly base to uphold quality standards.
Supervision and inspection are imperative to childcare organizations to ensure that quality is upheld at high standards and that children are receiving proper care in a safe environment.
Since the Childcare Island Ordinance is implemented, all persons interested or working in child care organizations must have the minimum education level of CVQ 2 by 2022.
Due to this new regulation, a CVQ level 2 program is being offered at Saba Comprehensive School (SCS) to educate the current staff of the day care and after-school care. The training program will take 2 years to complete. Participants will attend school one day per week and receive four days on the job training. Staff of both organizations is currently enrolled in CVQ 2. The first group will graduate in 2021 and the second group in 2022.
In the future other CVQ levels could be introduced to continue upgrading of staff and uphold quality standards.
Conscious discipline is a training that happened in 2019 and in 2020. Its gives for both teachers and parents tools to use when working and communicating with children.
High Scope training started in the first quarter of 2020 with persons from Day Care, After School Care and SHS. This will be the curriculum for 3-5 year olds and will improve the continuous learning line for children transitioning from Day Care to Primary School.
Terms of employment for the current daycare are regulated by the OLS according to the civil servant law. The ASC is also following the employment regulations similar to that of the day care staff.
Each employee of a childcare organization must have a job description, a contract, working documents, work in proper conditions and be compensated fairly.
In April 2019 the ASC, with the support of the BES(t) 4 kids program, reevaluated all staff members. With this evaluation the salaries were improved to match those of the local day care employees. The ASC staff also received contracts with job descriptions and is following a similar labor agreement as that of the OLS. Staff of both organizations is currently enrolled in CVQ 2. The first group will graduate in 2021 and the second group in 2022. After the CVQ training the staff of both organizations will be reevaluated.
There are two locations for day care on Saba: one at the Governor’s house and the other at the Anglican Church Rectory. The Governor’s residence houses babies from 3 months up to toddlers aged 3. The second location is for preschoolers aged 3-4 year. This location prepares the children for entering primary education.
There is a plan to build a new day care centre in the same area as St. John’s. The process to start building will begin late 2021, early 2022 and should take approximately two years to complete. The new Day Care building will be able to house approximately 90 children. This will increase the current capacity of the day care and will meet the new target of available places for babies.
The After-school Care is located in The Bottom at the Sunny Valley Youth Center, which is managed by the Saba Reach Foundation. After-school Care has permission by the OLS and SRF to use the building for after-school activities.
After School Care will also be housed in St. John’s in the new building that will also house the Day Care and Kindergarten classrooms. The capacity for After School Care in the new building will be approximately 80 children.