Together with the public entities of St Eustatius and Saba, the Public Entity of Bonaire (OLB) has drawn up a draft island ordinance for childcare. The Executive Council of Bonaire has presented the draft Island Ordinance Childcare to the Island Council. The draft island ordinance has been approved by the Island Council on July 7 of 2020.
The moment the island ordinance came into effect, all children’s centers and registered host parents 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 and a minimum number of professionals per master group. Housing must also meet the basic health and safety requirements. New organizations must meet all quality requirements immediately.
New and existing daycare and after-school facilities will soon need an operating license. A transition period has been established for existing organizations: they can receive a temporary exemption.
The application for this license on Bonaire must be submitted to the Executive Council through the OLB. 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 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
From the moment all relevant documents are submitted, the application process takes approximately two months.
If the application does not meet all requirements, the applicant has 4 weeks to submit the missing or incorrect items. The application process will not start before the application is complete.
The applicant receives a confirmation with information about the next steps. With a complete application, the Executive Council requests advice from the childcare quality committee within two weeks. The quality committee issues advice to the Executive Council within four weeks. The Executive Council then decides within two weeks. This period can be extended once, with a maximum of two weeks.
Daycare and out-of-school care organizations in Bonaire 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 Bonaire for this purpose.
Amount of cost-price reducing subsidy (per January 1st 2023)
The cost-price reducing subsidy for childcare organizations in Bonaire is a maximum of $ 441,- per child per month for daycare and a maximum of $ 396,- per child per month for out-of-school care.
The cost-price reducing subsidy for host parents in Bonaire is a maximum of $ 334,- per child per month for daycare and $ 338,- per child per month for out-of-school care.
Amount of parental contribution (per January 1st 2023)
If your organization receives the cost-price reducing subsidy, a minimum and maximum parental contribution applies:
- The parental contribution for daycare and out-of-school care should not exceed $ 100,- per month.
- The parental contribution should not be lower than $ 75,- per month for daycare and not lower than $ 40,- per month for out-of-school care.
- For host parents offering daycare, the parental contribution is $ 75,- per month. For host parents offering out-of-school care, the parental contribution is $ 100,- per month.
Some childcare organizations which already have a subsidy relationship with the Public Entity Bonaire can charge a lower parental contribution with the consent of the Public Entity Bonaire.
Parents who cannot afford the parental contribution, can apply for a supplementary childcare subsidy at the Public Entity Bonaire.
Supervising the quality of daycare and after-school care has been assigned by OLB to the Inspectorate of Education. The inspection can have parts of the supervision carried out by a local inspector. Inspectors will visit the childcare centers both announced and unannounced. Where necessary, they provide advice to the childcare organization.
If the quality needs to be improved, the inspection will visit the organization again within the agreed period, to see whether the improvements have been implemented. If there are serious issues, the inspector can issue a negative advice. A negative advice can lead to a measure or (temporary) closure.
The OLB cooperates with MBO Bonaire to train pedagogical staff in accordance with the quality requirements in the island ordinance. In consultation with the employer, employees can register directly with MBO Bonaire.
As of July 1, 2022, the compensation of wage loss is part of the temporary subsidy.. With this, all child care organizations should be able to arrange for replacement at times when an employee is attending training during work hours.
For owners of childcare centers who are in training, there are ‘flying teachers’. A flying teacher can be called upon when the owner or pedagogical employee of a childcare center is studying to become a pedagogical employee at level 2, 3 or 4. An internship within the own organization is then conducted with a supervisor from outside. The costs of the flying teacher are carried by BES(t) 4 kids. The teachers are deployed in collaboration with MBO Bonaire by the OLB.
In addition, courses and training that are offered from the BES(t) 4 kids program can be followed on Bonaire. For example, on the subject of first aid, domestic violence and child abuse and pre-school education.
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.
Daycare and after-school care organizations must be housed safely in accordance with the quality requirements and children must have adequate (play) space.
For many organizations, this poses a challenge, especially if they are housed in rental homes that do not meet all quality criteria. Therefore, the housing of all organizations is being mapped. Based on this inventory, the OLB will examine how it can best support the childcare organizations.