About BES(t) 4 Kids
Good-quality and responsible childcare and after-school care are of utmost importance. Children must feel safe and should be offered the possibility to develop. That is why quality requirements are established in legislation and in island ordinances. These requirements address matters like the care for the child and their development, safety, hygiene and accommodation.
The objective is that in 2022 all organisations offering childcare or after-school care comply with the quality requirements. The public entities support the organisations for childcare and after-school care with the improvement of the quality.
Some important pillars for the improvement of the quality are:
Continuous development of a child is important. The relevant responsibility starts at childcare. From the school age of 4 a continuous learning trend also becomes important.
The transition from childcare to primary school is quite considerable for some 4-year-old children. It will be examined whether it is possible to facilitate a smooth transition for the child. Good arrangements between the childcare organisations and the primary school are essential in this respect. The Inspectorate of Education will monitor the existence of these kinds of arrangements and a good transfer of children at both the childcare organisations and the schools.
Preschool education makes it possible to prevent or reduce developmental and educational disadvantages. This is why the public entities think it is desirable for every childcare organisation to work on preschool education. They aim at the implementation of the Kaleidoscoop program (High Scope) in childcare. This is an educational program for children aged between 2.5 and 6. The primary schools are also stimulated to use Kaleidoscoop in groups 1 and 2.
Playful learning is important in the development of young children. In the preschool education, activities are offered in a playful manner to help children develop. There are also alternating themes. If childcare and primary education coordinate these themes then this will also contribute to a smooth transition of children to primary school.
To offer responsible and good-quality childcare, it is required that professionals are trained well. It is also important that sufficient expertise in the area of preschool education and the signalling of developmental and educational disadvantages is available within a childcare organisation.
In addition, the public entities want every organisation to work on the basis of the same pedagogical methodology.
A training plan is prepared to support local organisations in the training of staff. This way all organisations can comply with the imposed requirements.
Good childcare and after-school facilities require a solid board and management of the organisation. Directors and managers must be aware of their positions, roles and responsibilities and must be able to fulfill them properly. In consultation with the organisations, assistance is offered in this area.
To be able to attract properly trained staff, attractive terms and conditions of employment and good jobs are required. Due to the competitive terms and conditions of employment in the education industry, terms and conditions of employment in childcare and after-school care will be harmonised with those in the education sector in the Caribbean Netherlands. This is also useful for potential combination positions in after-school care and education. However, the working conditions in childcare are different. Childcare is, for instance, often open 12 hours per day and work is performed based on schedules. Nor are there fixed school holidays: childcare and after-school care should actually be open during holidays.