Logo of the Dutch government

Professional childcarer-child ratio

This information is provided by:Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVONetherlands Enterprise Agency, RVONederlandse versie

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 professional staff to the number of children in a group in the childcare organisation. The purpose of this ratio is to make sure the childcare is well matched to the children’s development. It applies on-site as well as on outings. The ratio varies depending on the group's age range and the type of childcare provided:

  • day nursery/crèche
  • out-of-school care (buitenschoolse opvang, BSO)
  • childminding (gastouder)
  • playgroup

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. In after-school care groups (aged 7-12), 1 childcare professional can be put in charge of up to 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.

Please note: a temporary measure allows up to half the numbers in the childcarer-child ratio consist of trainees. This temporary measure is in place until at least 1 July 2024.

Three-hour rule

Is your childcare organisation open for at least 10 consecutive hours? You can deviate from the professional childcarer-child ratio up to 3 hours a day. The ratio is never allowed to drop below 50% of your regular ratio. You must lay down the number of hours you deviate from the ratio and on what days in your pedagogical policy plan. Failure to do so means you may not implement this rule. You must also inform parents how your organisation implements the three-hour rule.

Four-eyes principle

You must keep 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 on your interpretation of the four-eyes principle, and you must inform parents about your implementation of it. Find out more about the four-eyes principle (Klachtenloket Kinderopvang, in Dutch).

The four-eyes principle does not apply to out-of-school care (bso) and childminding.

Related articles

This article is related to: