In the past five years, the number of childcare facilities in Drenthe has increased by more than 20 percent, reported RTV Drenthe.
According to figures shared by the Chamber of Commerce (KvK), in 2017 the region counted 551 nurseries, while in 2022 the number of registered childcare centers is 668.
Such an increase is not surprising, as it is in line with the national average. South Holland experienced the highest increase (26.1 percent), while Overijssels the lowest (12 percent).
What may come as a surprise instead is the fact that the increase of childcare centers didn’t come hand in hand with an increase in childminders.
According to Patricia Huisman, the spokesperson for the Association of Childcare Entrepreneurs (Branche Vereniging Ondernemers Kinderopvang, BVOK), the most recent wave of registrations to the KvK came from childcare professionals who were already working in the field. In addition, Huisman observed that many employees of pre-existing facilities decided to take the plunge and start their own childcare business.
This means that childcare is still lagging behind the demand, and is suffering from staff shortages across Drenthe. While demand is destined to grow, it is not clear whether childcare centers will be able to attract and retain workers in the near future.