About BES(t) 4 Kids
Good-quality and responsible daycare 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 all organizations offering daycare or after-school care comply with the quality requirements after the law comes in to effect. The public entities support the organizations for daycare 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 organization 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 organizations 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 organization to work on preschool education.
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 signaling of developmental and educational disadvantages is available within a childcare organization.
A training plan is prepared to support local organizations in the training of staff. This way all organizations can comply with the imposed requirements.
Good daycare and after-school facilities require a solid board and management of the organization. Directors and managers must be aware of their positions, roles and responsibilities and must be able to fulfill them properly. In consultation with the organizations, assistance is offered in this area.
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.