Increase in unsafe daycare accidents may be linked to staffing shortages
According to statistics from the Klachtenloket Kinderopvang Complaints Department, the number of unsafe incidents in childcare has increased significantly over the past year. According to experts, The increase is due to a serious labor shortage and a high absentee rate, advertisement report.
Many daycare groups are full and there are too few caregivers to care for the children. As a result, full-time employees are under extreme pressure and absenteeism is high. “Children are increasingly seeing a changing face instead of a regular teacher who knows them inside and out,” nursery school professor Ruben Hukink told the paper. . “This increases the risk of incidents.”
Nursery teacher confirms the problem. In a survey of 700 employees conducted this week by Kinderopvang Total, more than half said the number of incidents had increased. They cite examples of food and medicine being left behind, children falling out of beds and toilets, hot soup being spilled on children, and children being sent back to the wrong grandparents.
Klachtenloket Kinderopvang received 78 reports of unsafe conditions in childcare facilities between January and April. This is well above the previous three quarters of 54, 41 and 24 complaints respectively. “Over the past four quarters, we have seen a significant increase in the number of reports of unsafe conditions,” said Saibright Van Aten of the Complaints Department. “It could be a child running away, a child falling somewhere, or lack of on-site supervision due to lack of staff.”
AD found several examples of dangerous incidents in nursery schools this year. On March 10, an infant died in a “medical incident” in De Töberburgt, Arnhem. In early April, a child drowned at the Kraaltje Nursery School in Heizen. Later that month, a trauma helicopter rushed a drowning toddler to UMC Groningen in a nursery school. And then a three-year-old ran away from Happy Kids in Veert. A local resident spotted a child loitering in the street and called the police.
BOink, an organization for parents in the childcare sector, is not surprised. “We have been warning about an increase in cases for a year now, but we are concerned that this is just the tip of the iceberg,” chairman Gert Jelesma told AD. BOink believes the problem is due to a shortage of staff and too many interns working in childcare. Due to the shortage of workers, the government changed the rule in January 2022 to require half of the staff to be trainees. It used to be one third.
“We believe that measures should never have been introduced that would increase the risk of dangerous situations,” Jeresma said. “Since then, we have repeatedly warned the Department of Social and Employment about this matter. We have also written to Congress about it.”
Professor Fucking stressed that despite the increase in cases, daycare in the Netherlands is still very safe. There are approximately 17,000 child care institutions in the Netherlands, caring for approximately 635,000 children. Fucking advocates a thorough investigation of each incident to prevent similar incidents in the future. He also said it was good that the cabinet had postponed the free nursery school due to staff shortages.
https://nltimes.nl/2023/05/19/rise-dangerous-daycare-incidents-may-linked-staff-shortages Increase in unsafe daycare accidents may be linked to staffing shortages