Health boards have concerns about half the country’s childcare facilities

Toddler girl playing with toysThere are safety issues, personnel shortages or other serious problems at around half the Netherlands’ daycare facilities for young children, the Volkskrant reported on Tuesday.

The paper bases its claims on research carried out by local health boards into conditions at 3,000 creches, after-school clubs and council-run playgroups all over the Netherlands.

The health boards found conditions were worse at facilities in poorer neighbourhoods. Officials said they found concerns about safety, staffing levels or other issues at two thirds of daycare locations in areas where incomes were below €30,000.

In richer neighbourhoods, however, officials flagged up issues at around half the facilities they visited.

Most childcare in the Netherlands is in the hands of private companies and supervision is divided between the country’s 25 local health boards (GGDs).

This means parents do not have clear information about the quality and are unable to compared different facilities, the paper said.

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