SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS - The BES(t) 4 kids programme's ambition is to offer all children in the Caribbean Netherlands good quality, safe and accessible childcare and after-school care by the year 2022. Since the programme's launch in January 2019, great efforts have been made to realise the objectives.
The number of classrooms in Saba has been increased and a number of additional employees were recruited so more children in Saba can use childcare and after-school care facilities. As result, the waiting list for childcare decreased. All staff members have attended the introductory session of the pedagogical High Scope programme.
This educational method focuses on the comprehensive development of children aged between 0 and 6. On June 24th and 25th, 2019 all staff members of the childcare facility will also be trained in the Conscious Discipline programme. This programme aims to strengthen children's social-emotional skills. In September 2019 the first group of 14 employees of the Saba Comprehensive School will start the CVQ 2 Early Childhood Development training.
In February 2019, St. Eustatius launched the CVQ 2 Early Childhood Development training at the Gwendoline van Putten School. Eight staff members of the childcare facility and twelve students of the school follow this two-year training course. They learn how young children develop themselves and how they can support children in this process.
July 2019 two staff members of the childcare and after-school care unit will start a course to become a trainer in the pedagogical High Scope programme. Additionally, trainings will be provided for management teams of childcare organisations and a platform has been established in which the childcare organisations can discuss and coordinate organisational matters with each other.
Furthermore, the kindergarten is working on expanding the nursery. The remodeling will be completed in September 2019. Then there will be room for more babies and the facilities for their care will have improved.
Different groups of employees in Bonaire have been trained in the pedagogical Kaleidoscoop programme. A train-the-trainer course for new students and the recertification of staff members who obtained the Kaleidoscoop certificate in the past, will start in August 2019. On June 6th, 2019 a meeting was held for childcare organisations and the education sector.
They discussed the opportunities which working with Kaleidoscoop offers children and what the programme could mean for a strong start in primary school. In Bonaire, the number of subsidised places for children has been increased and the income threshold has been raised. As result, more parents will be able to use childcare and after-school care facilities.
In order to realise this all, the Public Entities appointed BES(t) 4 kids project managers. For Bonaire this is Tamara Nicolaas, Angela Dekker was appointed in St. Eustatius and Rosalyn Johnson in Saba. Fleur Lagcher holds the position of overall programme manager. The Public Entities and the Central Government (the Ministries of SZW, OCW, VWS and BZK) work in close collaboration with each other in the BES(t) 4 kids programme. Civil service representatives will meet in a work conference in St. Eustatius in the period June 19th to 21th, 2019 to discuss follow-up actions.