Stricter quality requirements increasing childcare waiting lists

The average time parents have to wait for a childcare spot to open up for their child increased from 6 months to a year in the last 18 months. The sector attributes the increase to difficulty finding staff, and stricter rules that were implemented in January. For example, there must now be one childcare worker per three babies, instead of four, NOS reports.

There are currently 4,620 open vacancies in childcare, and that number keeps growing, according to the broadcaster. The number of jobs in the childcare sector increased by 7.1 percent in the third quarter of 2018, compared to the 2.5 percent increase in the total number of jobs in the Netherlands. Last year the industry calculated that daycares will need 2,500 more pedagogical staff this year, on top of the staff shortages the sector has been struggling with for some time. 

As a result, there are simply not enough childcare workers to care for the children in the Netherlands, which means waiting lists are increasing.

According to Muriel Springer of childcare institution Kinderrijk, with locations in Amsterdam and Amstelveen, the spring for new staff has dried up. The problem is greatest in the Randstad, where there are relatively more babies, she said. In the big cities it sometimes take three years for a spot to open for a child. Springer regularly sees mothers who are forced to work less, or wait longer to go back to work, because there is no room for her child. "From an emancipation point of view that is worrisome", she said.