First Chamber passes BES Childcare Law

The BES Childcare Law passed the Dutch First Chamber of Par­liament by a large majority. Only four members from the SGP and FvD parties voted against the law proposal. This means that parents re­siding on Bonaire, St. Eusta­tius and Saba (BES) will soon pay much less for childcare.

In his statement, Boris Dittrich of D66, on behalf of GroenLinks-PvdA, SP, OPNL, CU, CDA and PvdD, emphasises that the chal­lenges concerning childcare on the islands were often addressed during working visits to the Caribbean Neth­erlands.

According to Dittrich, with this law, “important steps” are taken to ensure equally-accessible, quality, safe and affordable childcare.

Although Peter Schalk vot­ed against the law, he states that he is not necessarily against affordable childcare; he argues that it would be better to finance childcare through child benefits, so that parents can decide for themselves whether or not they would like to spend money on childcare.

In 2018, parents in Bonaire still paid $140 to $350 per month for child care. Cur­rently, parents pay, on aver­age, a monthly contribution of US $75 to $100 for day­care, and $40 to $100 for after-school programmes.

But they are going to pay even less in the foreseeable future. By 2027, their con­tribution will only amount to 4% of the total cost. Par­ents who cannot afford this contribution, can ask the lo­cal government for financial support.

The Daily Herald.

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