Objectives and accessibility
In 2013 the government introduced the Act on Childminders, which regulates home-based provision. A family childminder (dadilja) has to be registered and is allowed to care for a maximum of six children up to the age of 14 years. These services are generally financed by parents’ or guardians’ fees, and occasionally the municipality will provide funding. This kind of service is supervised by the Ministry of Labour and Pension System, Family and Social Policy and is not part of the early childhood education and care (ECEC) system under the responsibility of the Ministry of Science and Education.
Requirements for childminders and child ratios
The Act on Childminders prescribes the following requirements for a childminder:
- is a business-minded person;
- has a permanent residence or approved residence in Croatia;
- is in good enough health to work;
- has not been convicted and no criminal proceedings have been instituted;
- does not have a security measure or protective measure prohibiting the performance of activities by a final court judgment;
- is not subject to a misdemeanour sanction for domestic violence;
- knows the Croatian language and the Latin alphabet;
- has completed at least a secondary education (International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) level 3);
- is professionally qualified, in accordance with the provisions of this act;
- is enlisted in the childminder directory, in accordance with the provisions of this act.
The Decision on the Adoption of the Training Program for Childminders regulates the training program for childminders. The training programme consists of 400 hours of regular or consultative instructional classes. The theoretical part of the programme is performed for 178 hours, exercises for 72 hours and practical classes for 150 hours. Childminders qualified in ECEC at a level higher than ISCED level 3 undertake a shorter version of this training programme.
In the Act on Childminders, it is specified that the maximum number of children aged less than 14 years per childminder is six. However, childminders may take care of only one child aged less than 1 year, and they count as two children. If childminders also take care of their own children aged less than 10 years, the total number of children they can take care of is reduced by one (up to two of their own children) or two (three of their own children).