Civil society organizations in the Netherlands are sounding the alarm this week and calling on the next cabinet to make a difference now to prevent another benefits scandal. Hence the call to the cabinet in a page-long manifesto in TROUW: fix the childcare system!
The cabinet that fell in February because of the benefits scandal is now making a comeback. With this it commits itself to adjusting the current financing system of childcare as soon as possible, so that a crisis of this magnitude can never happen again. To continue on the same footing while tens of thousands of victims are still deeply troubled is unacceptable, the manifesto says.
The organizations call for all children to have access to free childcare and for the abolition of the childcare allowance to be made a priority.
The organizations are asking the new cabinet to make 3 choices this cabinet period that VVD and D66 have already agreed on in their main agreement:
- Stop the error-prone and complex childcare benefit. Replace the complicated, income-dependent settlements and the unnecessary pumping around of money. No longer fund childcare through parents, but directly from the government to childcare providers. This eliminates the risk of parents falling victim to the complex system.
- Remove financial barriers; make childcare free for all children from 0 to 13, just like education. Make parents' work and income no longer a prerequisite.
- Reduce inequality of opportunity by making childcare accessible to all children, regardless of whether parents are currently in paid employment or not. Childcare contributes to children's development during the first 12 essential years. Allow all children broad talent development with sports, culture and homework help and focus on cooperation with education.
Read the entire manifesto here