Update 7 April 2020
The coronavirus creates an exceptional situation in the Netherlands and throughout the world. We understand that this situation raises many questions. Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions and the corresponding answers. This information is evaluated on a daily basis and adjusted where necessary.
We understand that this new situation may also raise financial questions. State Secretary of Finance (Allowances and Customs) Van Huffelen and State Secretary of Social Affairs and Employment Van Ark have reported that parents who are temporarily unable to bring their child(ren) to childcare due to the Corona crisis, but who have paid the bill, will get their money back. This also applies to parents who are now doing crucial work. We will inform you as soon as it is clear how this will be arranged.
List of Frequently Asked Questions
When can I take my child to the emergency (child) care?
The care currently provided at schools and in childcare (without extra costs for parents), is emergency care. The purpose of the emergency care is to ensure that people in vital professional groups can continue to do their work for the society. First, persons in these professions will have to find a care solution by themselves, so their children do not have to go to care or to school.
The list of vital professional groups is not comprehensive. It does, however, provide an outline of the most important professions that keep society going. People with an indispensable service or support position (e.g. cleaning, security, ICT) in one of these vital professions can bring their children to emergency care. It is up to parents and employers to make the right choices. It is an emergency-care facility, which can only be used when other options are inadequate.
Children who show symptoms of illness are not allowed to go to emergency childcare and have to stay at home. Are you unable to organise care, and do you not work in a vital profession or in the vital infrastructure? Please discuss a solution with your employer.
Can I, as a self-employed person, take my child to childcare?
We understand the concerns of freelancers. Childcare is now only available to people with a vital profession. This means that self-employed people with a vital profession can call on childcare. Other self-employed people will have to look after their children by themselves. Unfortunately, care is not available to everyone at the moment. Choices have been made by the government cabinet to give priority to the vital functions in our society in this exceptional situation.
Do I still have to go to work when my children cannot go to day care?
Care is only available to children with parents in vital professions. Do you not work in a vital profession? Then the government strongly advises you to work at home until 28 April 2020 (if possible).
Do I work in a vital profession?
A list of vital professional groups can be found here.
Can KinderRijk ask for a statement from my employer to determine whether I have a vital occupation?
No burden of proof, such as an employer’s statement, is required from the parent. We assume that this takes place on the basis of trust and self-selection. Please refer to the list of crucial professions or vital occupations.
What if I work in a vital profession and my partner doesn’t?
The starting point is that parents in a vital professional group are able to continue to work. If in a family, one parent performs a vital profession, they are requested to look after their children by themselves where possible. If that is not possible, an appeal can be made to the school and/or child care. It is not a hard requirement that both parents work in a vital profession. Care needs to be provided so people with vital professions can continue to work.
I work in a vital profession, which is why my child keeps going to childcare. Will I incur costs for this?
No, you don’t:
- There are no extra costs involved. You do not have to make a (new) application or pass on any changes (e.g. because you are taking extra hours).
- If you work in a vital profession, we need you urgently right now.
- If you already received childcare allowance, you do not need to change anything. We ask you to continue to pay your normal invoice. There will be no extra costs when using childcare because you are working in a vital profession.
My child will be required to stay at home from 16 March, do I have to continue paying for care?
Yes you do, and therefore:
- Please pay the entire invoice for care as you always do. Most childcare organisations submit their invoices in advance, which means that you have probably already paid your invoice for the month of March. We also ask you to continue to pay the invoice for the month of April.
- Do not adjust anything at the Tax and Customs Administration for your childcare allowance, this way you keep your right to childcare allowance and it will continue to be paid.
- You therefore do not have to make any changes or stop your childcare, unless, for example, your income changes. In that case, please inform the Tax and Customs Administration.
- You will keep your place at the childcare centre when it reopens as usual.
- Part of the costs you incur for childcare consists of a personal contribution. You must also pay this contribution to the childcare organisation.
- We understand that this can create uncertainty for you in these times. We do receive many questions about these aspects. We are currently looking at ways to settle this afterwards and will send a communication about this as soon as possible.
Do I have to continue paying my own contribution to the childcare?
Yes you do, and therefore:
- Please pay the entire invoice for care as you always do.
- If you do, you will retain your right to the childcare allowance and you will continue to be paid.
- Part of the costs you incur for the childcare organisation consists of a personal contribution. You must also pay this contribution to the childcare organisation.
- We understand that this can create uncertainty for you in these times. We do receive many questions about this aspect. The government is currently looking at ways to settle this afterwards and we will send a communication about this as soon as possible.
For whom is the compensation intended?
For all parents who usually use childcare and continue to pay their bills. This also applies to parents in vital professions. The use of emergency care is free of charge.
The government compensates the parents’ personal contribution up to the maximum allowance per hour. The childcare allowance is subject to the same (legally determined) maximum reimbursement. Hourly rates exceeding the maximum allowance will be compensated to all our clients.
How does the government compensate the parents’ personal contribution for childcare?
The government transfers the compensation to KinderRijk. We can then transfer the overpaid amounts directly to the parents, i.e. the difference between the invoice amount and the childcare allowance received for the period 16 March to 28 April 2020.
Will the compensation scheme be extended for the personal contribution paid by parents since childcare and host-parent care remain closed for a longer period of time?
The compensation for the personal contribution to childcare will be extended until 28 April, because the schools and childcare facilities will remain closed until then. All parents who temporarily cannot bring their child(ren) to the child care or after-school care because of the corona crisis, but have paid the bill, will be compensated by the government up to the maximum compensation. This also applies to parents who are now at work in vital/key professions. There are no costs involved in the use of emergency care for the children of people in vital/key professions.
What measures do you, the childcare organisation, take?
We take the usual measures for children who come to childcare after 15 March, in order to prevent the transmission of flu and colds:
- Children and staff regularly wash their hands with soap and water and dry with a paper towel;
- Coughing and sneezing in the inside of the elbow;
- Use of paper handkerchiefs for sneezing and coughing. Dispose of them immediately;
- Do not shake hands.
Are there rules for informal care of children?
There are no government rules for informal care (as the word indicates). The government does, however, urgently recommend that the RIVM’s guidelines continue to be followed in order to prevent the spread of the virus. In informal care, it is important to avoid vulnerable groups, such as the elderly (e.g. grandparents).
My child can go to school from 16 March, but how about after-school care?
Your child can go to school from 16 March if you work in a vital professional group. If your child normally makes use of after-school care, he or she can basically go to the after-school care.
I work in a vital profession and my child normally goes to childcare, but now has mild health problems (sneezing, sore throat, runny nose, light coughing, slight temperature up to 38 degrees). Can I bring my child anyway?
No, your child is not allowed to go to childcare. If the symptoms worsen, please contact your family doctor by telephone.
Who decides which children are admitted to school and childcare?
If children can be looked after at home, parents are requested to do so. School and childcare are now intended for the care of children of parents who work in vital professions.
What to do if my income drops sharply due to the corona crisis or if I am self-employed and currently have no income?
When the income changes, you must inform the tax authorities, as you would normally do. The childcare allowance is higher with a lower income. In that case, you will receive the childcare allowance that matches your current income. Your adjustment will take effect on the first day of the following month. You can make adjustments via the Tax Authorities’ portal.
In the event of unemployment, entitlement to childcare allowance continues for up to three months after losing employment. Parents who lose their job therefore do not have to immediately remove their child(ren) from the childcare centre and give up their place at the childcare centre.
Can I cancel the contract with my day-care centre?
Yes, you can. But the government cabinet calls on parents to keep their contracts and continue to pay the bills. If you pay the invoice, you retain the right to your childcare allowance. The government will then continue to pay and you will receive compensation for your personal contribution. You also retain your place at the childcare centre. If you stop paying or cancel your contract, you will lose your childcare space, which you will probably need again after the period of closure.
If parents continue to pay and the government continues to pay childcare benefits, childcare organisations will be able to continue to provide a sufficient offering and parents can continue to work in vital professions.
Should you nevertheless decide to terminate your contract:
- Your contract with the childcare organisation will state how and when you can terminate your agreement.
- If you terminate your contract, your right to the childcare allowance is cancelled.
- Notify the Tax Authorities of this change via the Allowances portal (Toeslagen).
I am at home and work fewer hours due to the coronavirus situation. Does this affect the amount of my childcare allowance? After all, the allowance depends on the numberof hours worked.
No, it will not affect anything. During the upcoming period, your hours worked will remain unchanged and the number of hours for which you are entitled to the childcare allowance will be maintained. If you lose your job, you remain entitled to a childcare allowance for up to three months after losing your job. If in the meantime you have found work, you will not lose your place at the childcare centre.
Are parents still entitled to the KOT (childcare allowance) if they make use of the new Temporary Bridging Emergency Measure for Work Retention (NOW)?
Parents who make use of NOW retain the right to a childcare allowance. They will be paid 100% of their wages. Nothing changes for these parents in that respect.
Who can I contact for any questions?
Please contact our Customer Relations Department: email@example.com or 020-4260866.
You can visit Rijksoverheid.nl/coronavirus. On this website you will find the most up to date information.
You can also contact the BelastingTelefoon (Tax Line, 0800-0543) for any questions. Please bear in mind that the waiting time will be longer than usual.