Rules for childcare during corona crisis

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you operate a childcare centre, out-of-school care or are you a childminder? Until at least 25 January 2021 all childcare facilities may only offer emergency childcare (in Dutch) to children whose parents work in essential professions. If (part of) your location remains open you must observe the rules to prevent infection with and distribution of the coronavirus.

Rules for childcare

The main rules for childcare are:

  • Employees with respiratory symptoms or a fever of 38 degrees and up, are not allowed to work and will be tested for COVID-19.
  • You observe the hygiene rules the RIVM has drawn up (in Dutch). You cough and sneeze into your elbow, wash hands regularly and keep 1.5 metres distance. Clean extra and make sure that soap and paper towels are available at all locations.
  • One or more of your employees is responsible for the implementation of these measures.
  • Parents and employees must be able to observe 1.5 metres distance. Mind the routing to and in your facilty and arrange for parents to not bring and collect their children all at the same time.
  • When children are brought to your facility you must ask about their health and the health of people they live with. If the child or one of their adult famliy members or housemates has any symptoms such as a cold, sneezing, coughing or a slight fever (up to 38 degrees) you may not take them in. When you have doubts you must not take a child in.
  • Children up to 6 years of age do not need to stay home if they have a runny nose unless they have a fever or other symptoms. If a child develops symptoms or runs a fever (38 degrees and up) during the day, you must send them home. They are also allowed in your childcare facility if they have known health issues such as hay fever, asthma or a chronic cold.
  • If a child is in contact with a COVID-19 patient or if they are subject to a source and contact tracing investigation, they should get tested.
  • Children are only allowed back if they or their housemate have been free of symptoms for 24 hours or if they test negative for the virus. Did a housemate test positive? Then the child should stay home for another 10 days.
  • If a child or staff member is daignosed with the virus, you should notify the Municipal Health Service (GGD, in Dutch) for your municipality. Are 3 or more children infected with the coronavirus or do you suspect corona infections? Then the Municipal Health Service (GGD) will inform you which steps to take and how to notify parents and staff.

Illness of childminders or employees

If employees of your childcare centre are sick or if you as a childminder are sick, the following rules apply:

  • Employees with symptoms of a cold or respiratory problems, a fever of 38 degrees and up or sudden loss of taste and smell should stay home. Are you a childminder? You are not allowed to take children in if you have one or more of these symptoms.
  • You can get tested for COVID-19 for free at one of the Municipal Health Service’s locations. If you test positive you or your employee take at least 7 days for recovery. If you have no symptoms for 24 hours afterwards, you may get back to work. The same applies if one of your or your employees’ housemates has tested positive for the virus.
  • If in consultation with your (company) doctor or general practitioner it is decided to not take a test, you or your employee can get back to work if you have had no symptoms for at least 24 hours.
  • If a housemate of one of your staff (or your housemate) has symptoms of a cold or respiratory problems or a fever of 38 degrees and up, your employee need to stay home. Are you a childminder? You are not allowed to take children in, unless the housemate is one of your own children (0-12 years of age) with a runny nose/common cold or the housemate (13 and up) does not stay in the same room as the children.
  • Does your housemate test positive for COVID-19? Then you or your employee must remain at home until 10 days after the housemate has been free of symptoms for at least 24 hours. Childminders may not take in children during this period.

Children returning from a code orange or red holiday destination

If children have returned from a holiday in a country or region that has a code orange or red the following applies:

  • children up to (and including) 12 years old can attend their childcare facility, unless they have one or more symptoms (cold, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, temperature or fever) or if a housemate has a fever or respiratory symptoms.
  • Parents are not allowed to drop off or collect their children for the first 10 days upon returning home.
  • Childcare staff also needs to stay home for the first 10 days after their return. Childminders may not take in children during these 10 days.

These rules also apply if the travel advice has changed to orange or red during the holiday.

Rules for your childcare location

Sector organisations together with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment have drawn up a protocol for the reopening of childcare facilities (in Dutch). This protocol sets out how childcare should be organised during the corona crisis and which rules around safety and hygiene apply.

The protocol is meant for the childcare sector. You must also have a protocol in place which is based on this specifically for your location. Discuss this with the parents' committee or the parents. You must inform parents and children on the rules in your location. Do you offer out-of-school care? Discuss your rules with the schools concerned.

1.5 metres distancing and face masks

  • Children do not need to keep distance from one another.
  • Employees must keep 1.5 metres distance from one another.
  • Employees and parents must keep 1.5 metres distance from one another.
  • You are not required to keep 1.5 metres distance from children.
  • Employees do not need to wear a face mask during their work, the protocol advises against the use of face masks during educational/pedagogical activities.
  • Parents and other visitors are strongly advised to wear a non-medical face mask when they visit your location.

You may not exceed professional childcarer-child ratio.

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO