Coronavirus and Childcare archive
Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW): compensation scheme for childcare contribution
State Secretary Van Ark (Ministry of SZW) and State Secretary Van Huffelen (Ministry of Finance) have announced that parents who are temporarily unable to bring their child(ren) to daycare or out-of-school care due to the Coronacrisis, but who have paid their invoices, will receive their own contributions back (in Dutch). This also applies to parents who are now at work in essential jobs.
The Parents in Childcare Interests’ Association (BOinK) has formulated 10 frequently asked questions about the compensation scheme.
Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment: letter from the State Secretary, the term ‘emergency childcare’, update Questions & Answers (financial consequences of measures)
State Secretary Van Ark has written a letter (in Dutch) to everyone associated with childcare. This includes parents, employees, employers, daycare providers, daycare provider agencies and anyone that is connected to childcare in any way. She expresses her appreciation for everyone that is working so hard during the coronavirus crisis and explains that she is working hard on reaching compensation for the contribution that parents are still paying for childcare.
For clarification, the term ‘emergency childcare’ is now being used for people in essential jobs. Emergency childcare is available for parents who work in essential jobs.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) has updated a few Questions & Answers on the additional measures announced by the Dutch Government on March 15th 2020. The most relevant are listed below.
I am self-employed. Can I bring my child to childcare?
‘… We understand the concern of self-employed people. Childcare is currently only available for people in essential jobs. This means that self-employed people with essential jobs may use childcare. Other self-employed people have to care for their children themselves.’
As of 16 March, it is mandatory to keep my child at home. Do I still have to pay for childcare?
- you pay the entire invoice for childcare as always. Most childcare organisations bill in advance. If this is the case, you have probably already paid for the month of March. We request you to also pay for the month of April.
- Do not adjust your childcare allowance for the Tax Authority. This will allow you to retain your right to childcare allowance and the allowance will be paid out.
- So in principle you do not need to make any changes or stop your childcare unless there is a change in your circumstances such as a change in income. The Tax Authority must be informed of any changes.
- By continuing the payment, you reserve your child’s place in childcare when the childcare service resumes as usual.
- Part of the costs that you incur for childcare is your own contribution. This amount too must be paid to the childcare organisation.
- We understand that this may bring uncertainty during this period. We are receiving several questions on this issue. At present, we are looking at how to redress the situation at a later stage and will inform you accordingly as quickly as we can.’
What should parents do if their income drops substantially because of the coronavirus or if they are self-employed, for example, and have no income?
‘… If parents’ income changes, we request them to inform the Tax Authority as they would normally do. The childcare allowance is higher for lower incomes, and parents will then receive the childcare allowance commensurate to their actual income. This takes effect on the first day of the month after which you have reported the loss of income. The report can be done on the Tax Authority’s portal.
In case of unemployment, you have the right to childcare allowance for up to three months after the loss of employment. This is so that childcare does not have to be stopped immediately and the child does not need to lose his/her place at the childcare centre.’
Location van Embdenstraat
As of Tuesday March 17th 2020, the locations at Van Embdenstraat and Rotterdamseweg will be closed down. All children of parents working in vital professions will be taken care of at the location Raamstraat (Raamstraat 65). This location is open as of 07:30 am, also for the out-of-school care. Parents of children of our out-of-school care are asked to bring their children to Plukkebol. Even if the school provides childcare, the children will not be picked up by Plukkebol after school hours.
Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment: Questions & Answers on additional measures
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) inform all parents who make use of childcare via a number of Questions & Answers (only in Dutch) of the implications of the additional measures that the Dutch Government has taken on March 15th 2020. Examples are:
- What if I work in a vital profession, but my partner does not?
- As of March 16th 2020, it is mandatory to keep my child at home. Do I still have to pay for childcare?
Additional measures (extra newsletter)
This afternoon, additional measures have been taken by the Dutch government. For the coming three weeks, Plukkebol will shut down, with the exception of care for children whose parents work in vital professsions. The children of the location at the Rotterdamseweg will be taken care of at the location Raamstraat. The children of the location Raamstraat and the location Van Embdenstraat can go to their own location. The out-of-school care will be opened as of 7:30 am.
If you work in a vital profession, as included in the list of the 'Rijksoverheid' (national governement), and if you need childcare tomorrow, Monday 16th 2020, you will need to register. Please inform us on Monday March 16th 2020 at 9:00 am at the latest at info plukkebol.nl about:
- name of your child and the group in which it is placed
- your profession and the name of your employer
If you need childcare as of Tuesday March 17th 2020, please also inform us at info plukkebol.nl so that we can contact you. Please indicate in your mail for which days you will need childcare untill 6 April 2020
New measures (extra newsletter)
In the Netherlands, as of March 12 2020 new measures are in place to stop spread of the Coronavirus. The relevant measures of the government are listed below. For each measure, the policy of Plukkebol is indicated. The Parents Association has been involved in the realisation of this news item and understands the measures that have been taken. These measures are in line with the viewpoints of the Dutch Branch Organisation for Childcare.
- General policy: Primary schools, secondary schools, secondary vocational schools (MBO) and childcare centres will remain open as usual. There have been only few infections there and these environments are less international. Children and young people are not high-risk groups. Closing schools would have a major impact on society without contributing significantly to reducing the spread of Coronavirus. Children who have symptoms of a cold should stay at home.
- Plukkebol policy: Plukkebol stays open and we appreciate the commitment of our pedagogical workers even more!
- General policy: For everyone in the Netherlands: stay at home if you have a cold, a cough, a sore throat or a fever. Avoid contact with others (social distancing). Only call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.
- Plukkebol policy: Children, parents and employees are not allowed to come to Plukkebol when they have symptoms like rhinitis, a cough, a sore throat or a fever. Call in sick according to the normal procedure. Children who get ill during their stay at Plukkebol will need to be picked up within one hour after a phone call of a pedagogical worker.
- General policy: People throughout the Netherlands are encouraged to work from home or stagger their working times if possible.
- Plukkebol policy: Childcare and education workers ensure that other people, such as healthcare workers and people working at emergency services can continue to do their job. It is important that the childcare stays open and that our pedagogical workers can continue to fulfil their vital functions.
- General policy: Gatherings of more than 100 people are to be cancelled throughout the Netherlands. This includes the closure of public places such as museums, concert venues, theatres, sports clubs and the cancellation of sports matches and other events.
- Plukkebol Policy: We do not take the children to activities where large groups of people gather. We stay at and around our own childcare locations. Specifically for our location at Raamstraat: We play with maximum 2 groups at the time at the Westerhonk playground and only if this playground is available exclusively for Plukkebol.
- General policy: For vulnerable people (the elderly and those with weakened immune systems): avoid large gatherings and public transport. People in general are urged to limit visits to vulnerable persons.
- Plukkebol policy: If you or your child belong to a vulnerable group, it is advisable not to come to Plukkebol.