Several civil servants from Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba worked together with civil servants from the ministries on the “BESt4kids” program in Utrecht last week. The aim of this program is to strengthen childcare and pre-school and after-school facilities on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (Caribbean Netherlands). The ambition is to offer high-quality, safe and affordable childcare and after-school care for all children in the Caribbean Netherlands by 2022. Daycare that ensures the proper development of every child. But also for a good connection with education and meaningful leisure activities.
The public entities and the ministries of SZW , VWS , OCW and BZK work closely together in this program. In addition, they will coordinate regularly with local stakeholders. Such as childcare and after-school care organizations, schools and other organizations in the youth chain. (Ed.: the youth care centers, the Guardianship Council, the educational care expertise centers, etc.).
In 2018, the various ministries and the public entities had determined what they were going to do in the BEST(t) 4kids program during various work meetings in the Caribbean Netherlands. And how they will work together in this program. The program is based on a joint approach. But there is also an eye for the specific problems and needs per island. Every island, including the Central Government, has drawn up its own plan of action that forms part of the program.
During the last working meeting in Utrecht, the civil servants involved worked together to achieve the objectives for various subjects. Think of the supervision of childcare and after-school facilities, the applicable quality standards, children who need care and the costs of childcare. The group also paid a working visit to two youth institutions in Brabant: the organization for childcare and after-school care ’Wij zijn JONG’ and the ‘Milo’ Foundation, a center for children with special care needs. These visits have generated a lot of inspiration. Both for childcare and after-school care and for collaboration with schools and youth institutions in the Caribbean Netherlands.
From 1 March 2019, the BESt4kids program will be led by program manager Fleur Lagcher. A project manager has been appointed for each island: Angela Dekker for Sint Eustatius and Rosalyn Johnson for Saba. The project manager for Bonaire is expected to be appointed in April. These three project leaders and the program manager work closely together with local project leaders as well as project leaders in The Hague from the ministries involved.