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Do you operate a childcare centre, out-of-school care or are you a childminder? If (part of) your location is open, you must observe the rules to prevent infection with and distribution of the coronavirus.
The 1,5 metre social distancing rule is no longer in place as of 25 September. It will remain an advice. All other basic corona rules, such as washing your hands regularly and making sure there is a good flow of fresh air, remain in place.
Rules for your childcare location
You should follow the rules as are in place for childcare organisations and childminders as well as the rules for primary schools (in Dutch). Primarily, the basic corona rules must be observed. This also means you should make sure all rooms in your location are well ventilated. You can also check the generic guidelines (in Dutch) for the entire sector. The rules on cohorts and the advice on keeping 1.5 metres distance from the children in the guidelines no longer apply. All other guidelines, for instance those on hygiene and ventilation, remain in place.
Protocols for childcare
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 as a whole. 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.
Please note: a protocol is not legislation, but an elaboration of the RIVM's advice for the workplace.
The Childcare Parents Representation Organisation (Belangenvereniging van Ouders in de Kinderopvang & Peuterspeelzalen, BOinK) has set up a decision tree (pdf, also available in English). With this tool you can check if your child (0-8 years old) is allowed to go to school or childcare.
Corona tests for employees
Childcare organisations and childminders will receive self-tests, so staff can test themselves as a preventive measure. Read the guideline on self-testing in the childcare sector (in Dutch) and the checklist for employees to test themselves at home (in Dutch). Please note: self-testing is always voluntary. It is an addition to the general testing policy.
Corona testing with priority
You can get tested for COVID-19 for free at one of the Municipal Health Service’s locations. Your (pedagogical) staff and childminders can get a corona test with priority (in Dutch). If 1 of your staff members has any symptoms, they should report this to you. As the employer you decide if they will get priority. You have to follow the assessment framework (in Dutch) to make this decision. The priority is only meant for circumstances in which there is no other option to guarantee care for the children: there is no replacement for the sick employee and the children would have to be sent home in their absence. Childminders can fill out a priority certificate (in Dutch) via their childminding agency, or in extreme situations contact sector organisation Nysa (in Dutch) for help with this.
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 Covid-19 should stay home. Are you a childminder? You are not allowed to take children in if you have one or more of these symptoms.
- If a housemate of one of your staff (or your housemate) has symptoms of Covid-19 they need to stay home. Childminders may not take in children.
- If you or your employee test positive you take at least 7 days for recovery. If you have no symptoms for 24 hours afterwards, you may get back to work.
- Have you or you employee been in close contact with someone with Covid-19? Then you or your employee must remain at home.
You can find more information in the protocol for the reopening of childcare facilities (in Dutch).
You may not exceed professional childcarer-child ratio.