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Three-hour rule in childcare

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you have a childcare organisation? Then you must keep to the three-hour rule (drie-uursregeling). This rule allows you to deviate from the professional childcarer-child ratio (beroepskracht-kind ratio, BKR) for up to 3 hours a day. During these 3 hours you are allowed to employ fewer professional childcare professionals than the ratio prescribes.

Three-hour rule

You can deviate up to 3 hours a day from the professional childcarer-child ratio only if:

  • your childcare facility is open at least 10 consecutive hours
  • you employ at least 50% of the prescribed number of childcare professionals during these hours
  • you register the hours you deviate from the childcarer-child ratio in your pedagogical policy plan
  • you also register which hours you do not deviate from the childcarer-child ratio
  • you may spread these 3 hours however you see fit, but it must be the same each week
  • you inform parents when you deviate from the childcarer-child ratio

Deviating from the ratio for out-of-school care

Out-of-school care (buitenschoolse opvang, BSO) may also deviate from the professional childcarer-child ratio:

  • up to half an hour daily, only before and after school hours, and on free afternoons
  • you have to employ at least 50% of the ratio-prescribed childcare professionals during these hours.

During school vacations and national holidays, the three-hour rule applies to out-of-school care the same way as to other childcare organisations.

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This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
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