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Professional childcarer-child ratio

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

If you run a childcare organisation in the Netherlands, you must adhere to the professional childcarer-child ratio. Read more.

Do you run a childcare organisation in the Netherlands? You must make sure the mandatory number of professional caregivers (Beroepskracht-kind ratio, BRK) is present per group of children. You can calculate this childcarer-child ratio yourself.

What is the professional childcarer-child ratio?

The professional childcarer-child ratio is the ratio of the number of carers to the number of children present in the childcare organisation. The childcarer-child ratio depends on the group's age range. The childcarer-child ratio also varies according to the type of childcare provided: day nursery/crèche, out-of-school care, childminding or playgroup. The ratio applies to childcare locations and on outings.

Calculating the professional childcarer-child ratio

You can use a calculation tool (in Dutch) to easily calculate the number of professionals you need. In baby groups, 1 childcare professional can look after a maximum of 3 children and in after-school care groups (aged 7-12) 1 childcare professional can be put in charge of 12 children. You can read more about the calculation rules and a further explanation of the formulas on the tool’s accompanying Dutch-language web page.

The Municipal Health Service (GGD) will use the calculation tool during its quality inspections. Trainees (in Dutch) can make up to a third of the numbers in the childcarer-child ratio in consultation with their college supervisors.

Three-hour rule

If your childcare organisation is open for at least 10 consecutive hours, you are allowed to deviate from the professional childcarer-child ratio for three hours. The ratio is never allowed to drop below 50%. The number of hours may vary on different days. However, you must lay down in your pedagogical policy plan the number of hours you deviate from the ratio and on what days. Failure to do so means you may not implement this rule. Parents must be informed about how your organisation implements the three-hour rule.

Four-eyes principle

You must adhere to the four-eyes principle. This means that at all times at least two adults should be present with a child. The adult may be another professional childcarer, but could, for example, also be a parent or trainee. You must request advice from the parents' committee with regard to interpretation of the four-eyes principle, and you must inform parents in this regard. The principle does not apply to out-of-school care (bso) and childminding. Find out more about the four-eyes principle (Klachtenloket Kinderopvang, in Dutch).

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This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
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