Kindercentra de Roef is a non-profit organisation consisting of 33 locations, which mainly are positioned in primary schools. As in many other countries, early childhood services have experienced a surge of policy attention over the past decade in the Netherlands.
Policymakers have recognized that equitable access to quality early childhood services can strengthen the foundations of lifelong learning for all children and support the broad educational and social needs of families. The ability for De Roef to do so need a change in future staff curriculum and current support. This is the projects aim of de Roef.
De Roef develops and implements several home based school readiness programmes. These programmes are successful in working with parents who had little education themselves. Research confirms the crucial importance of the child’s earliest years and of the need to support families in their role as the child’s most influential educator. It also shows that the learning capacity and value orientation of children have largely been determined by the time they start formal schooling. In addition, well conceived quality early childhood programmes can help meet the diverse needs of young children during these crucial years of life, enhance their school readiness and have a positive and permanent influence on their future educational achievement.
Child care – 1500 children / pre-school 366& afterschool 2200 children Since 2010, the Ministry of Social Affairs & Employment is responsible for child care. The first Dutch Child Care Act (2005) states that child care should contribute to every child’s health and wellbeing, in a safe and healthy environment. However, the Act does regulate funding and quality control in particular for child day care for 0 to 4 year olds, out-of-school care for 4 to 12 year olds and child minders for 0 to 12 year olds. These three kinds of child care are financed by three parties: the national government, employers (who contribute to a so-called child care fund) and parents. Parents receive monthly invoices from De Roef. The tax authorities reimburse a proportion of this amount. The higher the family income, the lower the amount. This arrangement only holds for parents in employment and for some specific groups of families, such as families where a parent has a chronic illness or a child has high social-medical needs.
As of January 2012, because of budget cuts, the amount of child care benefit available for working parents is decreased by 800 million euro. Children aged 0 to 4 years can attend day care centres between one and five days a week (Mon-Fri). Opening hours tend to be from 7.30 a.m. until 6.30 p.m.
In July 2011 the government proposed a continuous screening of day care staff by checking the systems of the Ministry of Safety and Justice. De Roef applies this method since 2008. Playgroups- 750 children on a monthly basis De Roef provides playgroups on a not-for-profit basis, with financial support from the local authority. In addition, parents pay a contribution for attendance. Playgroups in disadvantaged communities tend to receive more financial support from local government thus reducing the parental contribution.
Early childhood education- 60 children on a monthly basis The Dutch education system has limited educational facilities for children under the age of 4. Early childhood education focuses on children aged 2 to 5 who are in risk of developing an educational disadvantage. By offering early childhood education (VVE), language and/or educational disadvantages among children are addressed early. E
arly childhood education can be offered by the Roef in child day care facilities, playgroups and the first two year of primary education. De Roef playgroups and first years of primary education ensure a smooth transfer. Harmonisation De Roef works on harmonising the playgroups and child day care centres. In June 2009 the Dutch council of ministers accepted the law proposal ‘Development opportunities through Quality and Education’. Project ELLA We take part in the working package “Private Life Concepts” in Cooperation with seven different partners.