Crisis in childcare Amersfoort: 5 percent affected children

SKA cancels (partially) the contracts for 5 percent of the nearly 4,000 children it cares for. The number of children must remain in balance with the number of unemployed employees, says SKA in a letter to the parents.

40 vacancies

And then about 200 children can no longer go to one of the 50 SKA locations from mid-August or September 1st. Some employees move to another group or location, and some groups even disappear altogether.

The reason is the staff shortage in the sector. Due to strict legislation, too little admission to the courses, competition from primary school and high absenteeism due to corona, 40 vacancies have now been opened at SKA out of a total of around 480 employees. There are too few educational staff on the market to address this shortcoming now, says SKA. Not even self-employed.

Vacancies in childcare

Last year, a total of almost 16,000 vacancies arose within childcare (day care, outdoor school and play groups). By the end of the year, 5,000 of these were still open, nearly a third. In the first quarter of the year, 4,700 new positions were created, of which 4,400 were still open at the end of March.

The intervention at SKA is not an isolated incident. At the end of last year, Partou, the largest childcare organization in the Netherlands, put the children from an outdoor school in Utrecht on guard. In May, a number of locations and groups of Number One, a childcare organization with about 40 locations in Veldhoven and Reusel, among others, closed. For 200 of the 3,500 children, childcare has ceased.

Trying to share pain

It happens even more often that a day care institution has to close a place or a group for a day because there are not enough employees at that time. Such as at the Hero children’s centers in Haarlem and Spaarndam. “We have to deal with a shortage in every place,” said spokeswoman Astrid Bogerman. “We are therefore regularly forced to close groups for a day.”

They are trying to share the pain, she says. “We usually see some shortcomings, such as unfulfilled positions and long-term sick employees who come a week in advance. You can not always fill those positions, so you can report a closure in advance. But if someone reports sick tomorrow, it’s very harder.”

No one I meet denies that there is a serious shortage of staff in the sector, says Gjalt Jellesma, chairman of the interest association for parents, Boink. “But some organizations are better able to retain staff than others. As a parent, you have little insight into that. As an organization, you have to carefully monitor what makes people leave, otherwise you do not know the reason for the growing shortage.”

Outflow of employees

He just wants to say: does SKA have 40 vacancies due to natural attrition, or are there many left in recent years and months? And why did they go? A group of angry parents write in a letter to SKA that they know what the problem is. The number of employees and the influx of new teaching staff has remained unchanged in recent years. “The problem arises (thus) due to the increased turnover, in combination with the sharply increased number of children, in 2021. SKA is therefore not sufficiently able to retain employees.”

In the last quarter of 2021, 23 percent of childcare transfers went to another job. This is in line with the average in the healthcare sector. Employees leave for various reasons. For example, they get better working conditions elsewhere, such as fixed hours and higher wages.

Collection hours

The primary school education is particularly attractive to employees who qualify as teaching assistants, especially if they are currently still working in a leisure center. They get more comfortable working hours, a bigger contract and a fixed 13th month. “What you see happening now, with the incredible amount of money that has been poured into education to eliminate the learning disabilities caused by corona: childcare workers are simply being bought away,” Jellesma says.

In the video below, reporter Roel Schreinemachers explains the new cabinet’s plans for childcare:

Loes Ypma, chairman of the Department of Social Child Care, also recognizes this image. “I am most worried about the outflow. If you work at a leisure institution, you start after school, and you work from about three to half past six. It is a vacant hourly contract. Many young people work in reception. A little to rent or buy your own home. ”

And then they disappear from schooling as soon as they want to take the step that Ypma is sitting on. “30 percent of BSO employees want to work more hours. If we want to keep them, there is a great need for collaboration with education. We think that a solution actually lies in combination jobs, then partly work as an educator, partly as an educator. Reception assistant . ”

Even though we are not there yet, she continues in the same breath. “More new people are needed, for example, by making our sector more attractive to lateral participants.”

Correction of staff shortages

Today, employers and childcare workers are organizing a ‘hackathon’ together to find solutions to the shortage of staff in the sector. The sector expects to need 50,000 extra people in the coming years, partly due to the forthcoming changes that the government wants to implement. “You can not just solve this by recruiting differently and better. You have to look for other solutions,” the organization says.

Leave a Comment