Familiar-face criterion

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you run a childcare centre? Then you need to make sure your children’s groups meet the familiar-face criterion. This means that each child sees at least one familiar face in their group during the day. The criterion applies to each child individually and is not determined at group level.

What is a familiar face?

A familiar face is a childcarer who is always there when the child is there. This helps the child develop a sense of social-emotional security. The familiar-face criterion is different for babies and older children. There may be other childcarers present apart from the familiar face.

How many familiar faces do you need?

How many familiar faces a child can have at most depends on the professional childcarer-child ratio for your childcare location.

A childcarer can be the familiar face for:

  • at most 3 babies (up to 1 year old)
  • at most 5 children aged 1 to 2
  • at most 8 children aged 2 to 4
  • at most 10 children aged 4 to 7
  • at most 12 children aged 7 and up

You can use a calculation tool (in Dutch) to calculate the number of professionals you need.

Familiar-face criterion for babies

The standard for baby groups (under the age of 1) is a maximum of 2 familiar faces, when the professional childcarer-child ratio is 1 or 2.

If the ratio is 3 or more, the standard for babies is a maximum of 3 familiar faces.

Familiar-face criterion for children

The standard for children (aged 1 and over) is a maximum of 3 familiar faces, when the professional childcarer-child ratio is 1 or 2.

If there are 3 or more childcarers per group, the maximum is 4 familiar faces.

Deviating from the familiar-face criterion

If a familiar face is ill, on leave, or on holiday you are allowed to temporarily deviate from the familiar-face criterion (in Dutch). You can then deploy another professional carer. If you intend to make use of this possibility, you need to indicate this in your pedagogical policy plan. You describe among others how you ensure the emotional safety and stability of the children. You must also describe how you choose the substitute carer. You are only allowed to make use of this option if you work with at most 3 familiar faces per child, not if you work with 4 familiar faces per child.

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Please contact theNetherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO