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 daycare 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 centers and registered host parents must have an operating license to provide childcare. All new childcare organizations must first apply for this operating license.
Download Island Ordinance Childcare Saba
In accordance with the island ordinance; persons interested in establishing a childcare 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 center
- Domestic violence step-by-step plan of children’s center
- Safety and healthcare policy of children’s center
- 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, daycare 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 (per Janaury 1st 2023)
The cost-price reducing subsidy in Saba for daycare is a maximum of $ 261,- per child per month and for out-of-school care it is a maximum of $ 330,- per child per month.
Amount of parental contribution (per Janaury 1st 2023)
The amount of the parental contribution in Saba is $ 75,- per child per month for daycare. The amount for out-of-school care is $ 40,- 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 (Dutch)
- Questions and answers on increasing the subsidy as of January 2023: FAQ
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 daycare 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. A grace period applies for this.
Due to this new regulation, a CVQ level 2 program is being offered at Saba Comprehensive School (SCS) since 2019 to educate the current staff of the daycare and after-school care. The training program takes 2 years to complete. Participants attend school one day per week and receive four days on the job training. Staff of both organizations are currently enrolled in CVQ 2. The first group graduated in summer of 2022 and the second group in 2022/2023. A third group was started for Spanish speaking staff and will graduate in 2024.
SPW MBO level 3 is being offered for staff members who have completed CVQ 2 and would like to further continue their education journey. The MBO level 3 program will be offered by NIPA from St. Maarten in close collaboration with Saba Comprehensive School.
Conscious discipline is a training that happened in 2019. Its provides both teachers and parents tools to use when working and communicating with children.
The intention is to continue with Conscious Discipline in 2022 for further training and development of staff from childcare and primary school. An online training of Conscious Discipline is set up, in which 75 persons from Saba can enroll, this will include both childcare centers, primary school, child focus and the library. All stakeholders working directly or closely with children are encouraged to participate in the conscious discipline training as it will have a positive impact on the 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 0–5-year-olds and will improve the continuous learning line for children transitioning from Day Care to Primary School. High Scope is completely implemented at Day Care as well as After School Care.
Good terms of employment are important in improving the quality of childcare. With good terms of employment throughout the sector, working in childcare becomes more attractive and childcare organisations are able to attract AND retain qualified employees.
Therefore, the BES(t) 4 kids programme wants to help childcare organisations and employees to structurally improve the terms of employment in childcare. The goal is to come to a collective labour conditions agreement: the CLA Childcare CN. In this agreement, issues such as minimum wages, holidays and pension can be arranged collectively. This considerably increases the attractiveness of the childcare sector.
However, a CLA for Childcare CN is not arranged overnight. Reaching a collective labour agreement for the entire sector in the Caribbean Netherlands is complicated, involving many organisations. First all wishes and needs of employers and employees on the three islands will be identified. Also, many discussions between employers and employees are necessary to agree on a first CLA. BES(t) 4 kids facilitates and stimulates this process.
There is one location for daycare on Saba: one at the Governor’s house. The Governor’s residence houses babies from 3 months up to toddlers aged 3.
The After-school Care is 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.
There is a plan to build a new childcare center that will include both daycare and afterschool care in The Bottom. The process to start building will begin in 2022 and should take approximately two years to complete. The new Day Care building will be able to house approximately 180 children. This will increase the current capacity of both childcare centers and will meet the new target of available places for babies.