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 centres 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 requirements.
New and existing childcare 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 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
From the moment all relevant documents are submitted, the application process takes approximately two months. 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.
If the application does not meet all requirements, the applicant has four weeks to submit the missing or incorrect items.
Childcare 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
The cost-price reducing subsidy for childcare organizations in Bonaire is a maximum of $ 200,- per child per month for day care and a maximum of $ 150,- per child per month for out-of-school care.
The cost-price reducing subsidy for host parents in Bonaire is a maximum of $ 100,- per child per month for both day care and out-of-school care.
Amount of parental contribution
If your organization receives the cost-price reducing subsidy, a minimum and maximum parental contribution applies:
- The parental contribution should not exceed $ 200,- per month. For host parents offering day care, the maximum parental contribution is $ 175,-.
- The parental contribution should not be lower than $ 150,- per month for day care and not lower than $ 100,- per month for out-of-school care. Some childcare organisations 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.
In case of forced closing due to a COVID-19 lockdown, childcare organisations and host parents will receive an additional compensation for the parental contribution, so parents will not have to pay their (full) contribution. Read more in the press release.
The amounts of the cost-price reducing subsidy will be adjusted as of July 1st, 2021.
Click here for the temporary subsidy scheme: temporary subsidy scheme
Supervising the quality of childcare 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 organization. Inspectors will visit the childcare centres 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.
Childcare organizations can apply for compensation of wage loss. This allows them to cover the replacement costs for the hours that employees follow the compulsory training during the day. The application for wage loss must be submitted to the OLB, Education & Welfare Department.
For owners of childcare centres who are in training, there are ‘flying teachers’. A flying teacher can be called upon when the owner or pedagogical employee of a childcare centre 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.
The OLB believes it is important that every organization works with the same pedagogical method: Kaleidoscoop/High Scope. In September 2019 a group of 10 participants started the train-the-trainers program. After completion they will be Kaleidoscoop/High Scope trainer.
In addition, courses and training that are offered from the BES(t) 4 kids program can be followed on Bonaire. For example, 10 professionals from childcare and after-school care participated in a week-long workshop Conscious Discipline. This program focuses on conscious positive upbringing, both by parents and by childcare and schools.
The intention is to improve the employment conditions for employees in childcare organizations. This will be taken up before 2022 by the BES(t) 4 kids program.
Childcare and after-school care organizations must be housed safely in accordance with the quality requirements. For this purpose a housing plan is being developed.
First the accommodation of all childcare organizations will be mapped. Based on this, it will be examined for each organization which improvements are necessary. If possible the organizations will be supported.