Daycares struggling to properly help kids who need extra care

Children playing at a daycare center
Children playing at a daycare centerPhoto: AllaSerebrina/DepositPhotos

Daycare institutions in the Netherlands are struggling to cope with toddlers who need extra help. About a third of toddlers in daycare show problematic behavior or do not speak the language well, but daycares have insufficient money and knowledge to offer these children the right care, AD reports.

Research among 120 daycare locations showed that 24 percent of children in daycare and 37 percent of toddlers in nursery groups need extra care, according to the newspaper. The majority of these little ones need extra language support. Around 6 percent have behavioral problems. 

While pedagogical staff notice this behavior, they often find it difficult to give toddlers the right guidance, especially because they often have over a dozen other toddlers to care for. Calling in extra help is usually impossible because there is no money for it, according to the newspaper. This results in teachers muddling through the best they can, or toddlers unnecessarily being referred to a medical daycare. 

The law states that in education children who need extra care must be given this in the regular classes as much as possible. But nothing is regulated for daycares on this front. Only a few municipalities set aside extra money for preventative support for children aged 0 to 4 years. 

Daycare centers want this to change and call for funds to help them support children who need extra care.

Parent organization Boink also thinks there should be more support for suitable daycare. "If daycare centers can't manage it, those toddlers must go to medical daycare right away. That is many times more expensive and not always necessary", chairman Gjalt Jellesma said to the newspaper. He calls for an investigation into what daycare centers need to support children who need extra attention.