This article was last updated on December 5, 2023
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Reasons for Increasing Turnover
Childcare organizations are finding ways to increase turnover without raising hourly rates, potentially affecting parents’ costs and benefits. They do this, among other things, by charging extra hours, according to a tour by the NOS.
Why is charging extra hours attractive?
Parents receive an allowance for each hour of childcare, depending on their income. There is a maximum amount, for example for a daycare center it is 10.25 euros per hour. Parents must pay the additional amount charged by an organization themselves.
It is therefore attractive for companies not to increase the hourly rate, but the number of hours. For example, by charging credit days or extending opening hours. Parents receive a supplement for these extra hours, while this is not the case with an increase in the hourly rate. Expanding the hours has become easier this year, because the allowance is no longer dependent on the number of hours that parents work.
Boink, the interest group for parents in childcare, also sees that organizations are quickly making changes to hours or packages in December. “For example, they introduce paid exchange days, extend opening hours or oblige parents in out-of-school care centers to also take many hours during the summer holidays,” says chairman Gjalt Jellesma.
Both interest groups see that parents are increasingly pressured to agree to these types of changes. “They are told that they must sign, or else terminate their contract,” says Jellesma. “That is extremely threatening, because parents often do not have alternative childcare.”
Challenges in Transparency
According to researcher Thomas van Huizen of Utrecht University, the construction provides a clear advantage for childcare organizations, making the system less transparent. “Hourly rates are no longer easily comparable,” says Van Huizen. “And you have to go along with it as an organization, otherwise you look very expensive.” The taxpayer ultimately pays for the extra, unused hours through surcharges.
A childcare center may only calculate the hours that the daycare center is actually open, and parents are only entitled to childcare allowance for those hours. Minister Van Gennip has significantly increased the childcare allowance for all types of childcare next year and also called on childcare organizations not to pass on higher rates to parents. According to first calculations, they appear to increase by 7 to 10 percent.
With the introduction of the new childcare system, the risk of charging for more hours may become even greater, several experts confirm. This is because childcare will then become much cheaper for many parents, making it even less important to them how organizations calculate the hours.