Noord-Holland childcare org. to refuse un-vaccinated kids

Childcare organization Berend Botje will refuse children who have not been vaccinated against mumps, measles and rubella. The Noord-Holland organization, which looks after over 3 thousand children, will also send un-vaccinated children who are already in its care away. According to the sector organization for childcare, over a hundred daycare centers already refuse unvaccinated children, but Berend Botje is the first to send existing customers away, NOS reports.

Berend Botje has a few hundred childminders who looks after children of different ages, spread over 50 locations. For the time being, the new policy only applies to the 12 daycare centers where babies are also cared for, because they are too young to be vaccinated and therefore at risk. "Around 10" parents were informed on Tuesday that their child will no longer be welcome at Berend Botje after July 1st if he or she isn't vaccinated. 

"Some of them have now delved into it and have promised to vaccinate their children", Gaby Alberts, pedagogic director at Berend Botje, said to the broadcaster. "A number of people reacted very angry and do not want to vaccinate, but we just do not want to put small children at risk."

The childcare organization is not worried about legal steps being taken against it. "Our lawyer thinks that we can do this", Alberts said to NOS. "You can not make unnecessary distinction. We are refusing for good reason. It is not about discrimination, but about creating a safe situation."

The vaccination rate in the Netherlands is falling, which increases the risk of infection with deadly diseases. Earlier this year there was a measles outbreak at a daycare center in The Hague. None of the sick children were vaccinated, some of them because they were still younger than 14 months, the age at which children in the Netherlands are vaccinated against mumps, measles and rubella. 

Refusing unvaccinated children is currently forbidden in the Netherlands, because childcare organizations are not allowed to discriminate in their acceptance policy. However, the D66 is currently working on a bill that will make it possible for childcare institutions to refuse children who have not been vaccinated. The Dutch government is also investigating whether it should make vaccinations mandatory.