Childcare Solution Not Final
Although the childcare waiting lists problem seems to have been resolved, experts warn that if no extra financing is poured in the sector, the problem will come back quickly.
25 January 2007
AMSTERDAM — The Ministry of Health decided to fight the waiting lists problem with money two years ago already. The provinces being in charge of childcare since 2005, all of them received an extra of approximately 10 million euros each to reduce the notorious waiting period.
As seen by Hans Esmeijer of Gelderland, the chairman of the Interprovincial Committee, the goal has been attained. “We all worked with great intensity since March last year [when the plan was approved]” , he said. The progress achieved is all the more spectacular as the need for aid has increased by 10 percent, Esmeijer added. The provinces managed to help more children than they had originally planned.
The province of Noord-Brabant, where the waiting list last year was the longest of all and included 829 names, has managed to provide care to 1142 children in the past six months. That is 300 more children than planned. The province of Gelderland provided care to 1516 children and the province of Flevoland – 670. The waiting lists at Overijssel (originally, 459 children), Gelderland (600), Groningen (400) and several other provinces now have zero children waiting. A detailed report will be published by the Ministry today.
The remaining funds were used to subsidize other childcare institutions, such as children’s ambulance and nursing. More staff has been hired, Esmeijer said. However, it must be emphasized that the additional funding was a single time measure, he added. This means that in 2007, the waiting lists could grow again. To prevent that from happening, hundreds of millions of extra financing will be needed, experts claim.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news