Everyone working around children to be registered from next year

(Photo: Ranveig/Dodo / Wikimedia Commons)(Photo: Ranveig/Dodo / Wikimedia Commons)

The Dutch government wants to keep a closer eye on people who come into contact with children in childcare in any why. From March 1st next year, the childcare register will include, in addition to childminders, all people who go to a daycare or creche on a regular basis, including people who don't actually care for children themselves, NOS reports.

This includes temporary employees like trainees, temps and volunteers, but also handymen, construction workers doing a big job at a child care institution, or even a neighbor who comes to drink coffee with a childminder, the Ministry of Social Affairs announced. 

With the personnel register, people in contact with children can be screened for offenses. According to State Secretary Tamara van Ark, children are vulnerable and it is therefore important to continuously ensure that they are safe. To be registered on the personnel register, you need a Declaration of Good Behavior. According to the Ministry, this measure also has administrative advantages. For example, an employee will not have to get a new Declaration of Good Behavior when moving from one childcare institution to another. 

The government already implemented a personnel register for permanent childcare employees, childminders and their housemates in 2013. According to the Ministry, this continuous screening yielded 225 reports over the past years, around four per month. 

Gjalt Jellesma of Boink, an organization for parents in childcare, calls the expansion of the register a small step in te right direction. "The expansion comes from the childminders, so that people who have done suspicions things no longer come into contact with children", Jellesma said to NOS. "But the registration of persons is a passive instrument. Let us not lose sight of the fact that real safety must come from the staff, who are critical of themselves and each other, and that there is a culture of communication."

Jellesma also wonders where exactly the line will be drawn when registering people. "I understand that you register someone who regularly performs maintenance, but when it comes to an incidental job on the roof of an institution, it becomes complicated."