Childcare St Eustatius
The Public Entity of Sint Eustatius (OLE), in collaboration with the public entities of Bonaire and Saba, has drawn up a draft island ordinance for childcare. The Executive Council of St. Eustatius has presented the draft Island Ordinance Childcare to the Island Council. The draft island ordinance has been approved by the Island Council, it came into effect on January 1 of 2020.
The island ordinance came into force in January 2020. From that moment on all children’s centres must have an operating license to provide childcare. In order to obtain and maintain this license one should meet several quality requirements, such as a pedagogical policy plan, a minimum level of education, a maximum number of professionals per master group.
All childcare centres must have a license. For those organizations that existed before December 2017, there was a transition period to ensure that all new requirements could be met. An application for a license has to be submitted to the OLE.
The application contains at least:
- 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
After the application has been submitted, the OLE requests advice from the quality committee investigating the application. The OLE has 6 to 8 weeks to respond to the request. If more time is needed to assess the application, the OLE will inform the applicant.
Childcare and out-of-school care organizations in St. Eustatius 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 (and UVB) which has been established at the Public Entity St. Eustatius for this purpose.
Amount of cost-price reducing subsidy (per July 1st 2022)
The cost-price reducing subsidy in St. Eustatius for day care is a maximum of $ 195,- per child per month and for out-of-school care it is a maximum of $ 275,- per child per month.
Amount of parental contribution
The amount of the parental contribution in St. Eustatius is a minimum of $ 100,- per child per month for day care and $ 50,- per child per month for out-of-school care.
Parents who cannot afford the parental contribution, can apply for a supplementary childcare subsidy at the Public Entity St. Eustatius. Some childcare organisations which already have a subsidy relationship with the Public Entity St. Eustatius can charge a lower parental contribution with the consent of the Public Entity St. Eustatius.
Supervising the quality of childcare and after-school care is the task of the Inspectorate of Education. The inspectorate can have parts of the supervision carried out by a local inspectors. Two inspectors are active on St. Eustatius. They visit the childcare organizations. They have the authority to drop by unannounced, but usually they indicate when they are coming because they need information from management. A report is drawn up and an advice is given to the childcare organization. The advice describes which points deserve attention and in which period. The childcare organizations are visited again to see whether the improvements have been implemented. If these are not implemented, a negative advice will follow to the quality committee. A negative advice can lead to a (temporary) closure.
Ideally, the management of childcare centres functions at HBO level. There is a biweekly meeting with all the Directors (Platform B4Kids) to share information and to give informative workshops.
The pedagogical employees must have at least a level 2 CVQ (Caribbean Vocational Qualification) training. In February 2019, a start was made on a recognized level 2 CVQ training course for ECD (Early Childhood Development). The training is given by GVP school and attended by students from high school and persons working in childcare who do not yet have a qualification. The internship takes place at Buzzy Bees Daycare Center, the official learning institute for this training. The course will be finalized in July 2021.
In February 2020 a training course for youth leaders has started. This is a level 2 CVQ training and is organized by GVP. This training will be finalized in the beginning of 2022.
It is the planning to start in 2021 with a level 3 training SPW.
The OLE believes it is important that all childcare organizations work with the same pedagogical method; the High Scope Curriculum. Two people received training in Michigan and they train the staff of the childcare organizations. A next person started the training High Scope on Saba. In May 2021 a trainer from High Scope Michigan will give a training to the childcare workers.
At the end of 2019, one person from each organization took part in the Conscious Discipline training. This program focuses on consciously positive parenting, both by parents and by childcare and schools. The intention is that this program is implemented and that parents are involved.
Growth package labour conditions BES(t) 4 kids
Many pedagogical employees (group leaders) are following a training in order to meet the training requirements in childcare. That is good for the quality. The BES(t) 4 kids programme also wants to stimulate that pedagogical employees get a salary that fits the level of education and the important work they do. That is why BES(t) 4 kids presents the ‘growth package labour conditions’, including intended salaries for pedagogical employees. The idea is that employees in childcare will grow towards this in a few steps.
It is up to the employer to determine how and when the salary of an pedagogical employee can be adjusted. This depends on the financial situation of the organisation. The advice is to do this in steps, so that pedagogical employees will receive the minimum salary according to the growth package within a few years.
The following guidelines apply as advice:
Working hours: 40 hours per week with a full-time job.
The length of the normal working week has a maximum of 40 hours. Employer and employee may agree to shorter working hours.
Number of holidays: minimum 15 (= legal minimum)
It is up to the employer and employee to decide how to deal with collective days off by closing during holidays or on special days off on the island.
Classification of core positions
The salary of an employee directly involved in childcare is related to the level of education. The table shows a provisional job classification with the intended amounts for the minimum salary per position. The Island Ordinance on Childcare includes the qualifications that pedagogical employees must ultimately meet in order to be allowed to stand in front of a group.
|Position||Minimum education level|
2 Based on a 40-hour working week and 15 working days off.
For other staff (support, management), apart from the statutory minimum wage, no minimum salaries are proposed now. This can be worked out later, for example during the negotiations for a collective labour agreement (CLA).
Provisional salary structure
The intended amounts for the minimum salary per position come from a provisional salary structure in the childcare sector. This salary structure is based on research into the terms of employment in childcare. The complete salary scales per position can be found here.
The housing of childcare organizations has to meet quality requirements. The OLE supports out-of-school care to realize an accommodation that meets the requirements of the island ordinance. Given the poor condition of the buildings, work is being done on a plan for common housing for out-of-school care.
There is a plan for a new building for 3 organizations for Out of School Activities. Construction will start in 2021.
Buzzy Bees Daycare Center is working hard on the required improvements. Expansion of the baby room took place and more babies can be taken care of in a responsible way.