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.
Download brochure Quality Requirements Childcare St. Eustatius and Saba
Download brochure Quality Requirements Childcare Bonaire (Dutch)
The objective is that in 2023 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.
To be able to attract properly trained staff, attractive terms and conditions of employment and good jobs are required. In recent years studies have been conducted on Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius regarding the terms of employment in childcare. Based on the results and recommendations of these studies the BES(t) 4 kids programme has drawn up a provisional salary structure for pedagogical employees. This provisional salary structure is a guideline for employers in childcare. Each employer determines its own terms of employment and thus the remuneration of pedagogical employees.
Ultimately, the idea is to have a collective labour agreement (CLA Childcare CN). In this agreement, issues such as minimum wages, holidays and pension for everyone working in childcare can be arranged collectively. But a collective agreement for childcare in the Caribbean Netherlands is not arranged overnight. Many parties are involved. In order to stimulate a first improvement of the terms of employment in the short term, the BES(t) 4 kids programme introduces the ‘BES(t) 4 kids growth package’.