Major changes to the Dutch Childcare Act
Among the proposed changes, childcare allowance will be reduced and even discontinued from January 2010.Amsterdam – The Dutch Childcare Act will undergo major modifications effective from 1 January 2010. Among the many changes, private childcare givers (gastouders) will need to show proof of formal training and/or experience. First aid training will also become mandatory for all childminders. Most notably, the childcare allowance will be reduced and, in some cases, even discontinued.
Private childcare will see a reduction of 18 percent to the childcare allowance. Furthermore, the allowance currently provided to parents who employ a private live-in childcare giver will be discontinued in 2010. This change is particularly relevant for expatriate families in the Netherlands, as many have opted for in-house childcare because of limited availability of day care centres. In order to still qualify for the allowance, parents will need to work with a childminder who resides at a different address.
There will be a transition period, until September 2010, to allow childminders to meet the new requirements of the Dutch Childcare Act. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, and several childcare associations are currently working on implementation details, which should be made public in September 2009.
Olof Lakmaker, Director of Blue Umbrella recently commented, “Right now, the full implications of these changes are unclear. The Ministry and childcare associations are unable to provide all the details, however, what remains clear is that requirements for childcare givers are increasing and, unfortunately, the childcare allowance will be decreasing in certain cases.”
Blue Umbrella is a registered agency which provides English-spoken private childcare, which qualifies for the childcare allowance. Blue Umbrella is currently in discussion with government representatives to agree on an English language equivalent for all new requirements of the Childcare Act. They are also seeking exemptions for foreign childcare givers who can show a recognised non-Dutch diploma or certificate.
A final decision on all proposed changes is expected by October 2009.
Blue Umbrella / Expatica