‘Schools must start at 8am, 5 days a week’

After-school childcare would be much easier to organise if primary school hours were 8am to 2pm five days a week, says the MOgroep, the sector organisation for after-school care in today’s AD newspaper.

‘At present children dribble in between 2.30pm and 3.45pm and the first kids are already being picked up by 4.30pm. That makes it difficult to organise fun activities,’ Lenny Versteeg of MOgroep tells the paper.
The MOgroep has recommended the new school times to a special working committee set up by junior education minister Sharon Dijksma to look into ways of solving shortages in after-school care. The committee is to publish its findings today, says the AD.
Traditionally primary schools are closed on Wednesday afternoons and many also have a half day on Fridays. This puts pressure on after-school care on the remaining days. A five day school week would spread supply and demand, says the MOgroep.
But the association of school directors (AVS) is opposed to the proposal, saying that it is based on economic considerations rather than the interests of children. The association told the AD that it should be up to individual schools to decide school hours.
Under new legislation which came into affect on August 1, the country’s 7,000 primary schools are required by law to provide after-school childcare. The sector estimates a personnel shortage of 8,000 in 2010.

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