Multi-annual plan for boosting childcare starts
During their visit to Saba, St. Eustatius and Bonaire, State Secretaries Van Ark and Knops signed a multi-annual plan for boosting childcare in the Caribbean Netherlands. The programme plan stems from collaboration between the three Public Entities and the Ministries of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), Social Affairs and Employment (SZW), Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) and the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK).
BES(t) 4 Kids, as the programme is called, consists of an overall approach for the Caribbean Netherlands and three island plans of action. The purpose of the cooperating parties is to realise qualitative childcare, preschool and afterschool care on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. The focus is on creating a safe and caring environment for children up to the age of 12 that is affordable for all parents.
The basis of the programme is a legal scheme, which includes a new form of funding and inspection. This scheme in development will be converted per island into a local regulation that takes the island specific conditions into account. Executive organisations (such as childcare, afterschool care and schools) will receive support from the Public Entity to be able to comply with the new requirements. It is intended that the Dutch Government funds these organisations directly as of 2022.
The signing of the programme plan and the introduction of the steering group means the programme is now officially launched. The social and executive partners are closely involved in the further elaboration and implementation of the plan. The desired result can only be achieved by joining forces together.