Wednesday, 8 July 2015 - 12:24
Quality of childcare staff must improve, says Deputy PM
Childcare organizations need to focus more on the development of children and babies. Both the quality of childcare staff and the care of infants must improve, Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs wrote to the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, on Tuesday. The Deputy Prime Minister wants to further increase the quality demands for childcare and toddler playgroups from 2017. He plans to do so by making the requirements better reflect what children need at a certain age. A mentor will follow the development of a child and discuss it with the child's parents. In this way he hopes to prevent children developing delays that may affect them later in life. Staff working with babies should receive special training on infant care. Asscher feels that the focus is currently too much on the care and that more attention should be paid to the babies' development. He also wants less changes in staff in a baby group. According to the Minister, it is important that babies become more familiar with fixed specialists, as this would provide the baby with more stability and emotional security. Asscher also wants to improve the contact between childcare staff and parents, as he considers this very important. For this reason he will only allow fewer employees watching over a group during recess. Currently fewer employees are also allowed during drop off and pick up times, but Asscher feels that this stands in the way of the proper transfer of information between parents and staff. "Every child deserves a good start. Good childcare helps with this." Asscher said. "Therefore the government will invest 250 million euros into childcare over the next year. At the same time childcare is being continuously improved."