Obstacle Conquered? - Dutch Childcare workers in North Rhine-Westphalia

Obstacle Conquered? - Dutch Childcare workers in North Rhine-Westphalia

The employment of Dutch childcare workers as ‘Erzieherin’ in North Rhine-Westphalia was not obvious. The professions were not sufficiently similar and extensive compensation measures were imposed. Working as Erzieherin only in childcare was not possible until recently.

Word was received in light of an ongoing complaints procedure that partial access has been made available for EU citizens who want to work as Erzieherin in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Cross-border work can provide a solution when there is a shortage of professionals on the labour market in one country and an abundance in another. This also applies to the situation of Dutch childcare workers who wanted to work across the border to meet the growing demand for Erzieherinnen in North Rhine-Westphalia. Nevertheless, they encountered difficulties with this border crossing. 

The core of the problem has to do with a difference in the scope of work of Dutch childcare employees and the Erzieherin profession. Although there is an overlap between these two professions in the field of childcare, the activities of the Erzieherin are generally broader. As a result, Dutch childcare workers wishing to work in North Rhine-Westphalia would first have to follow extensive compensation measures.

Considering that such compensation measures can impede mobility, several parties, including the ITEM Expertise Centre and the Service Grensoverschrijdende Arbeidsbemiddeling, started a complaints procedure.

In November 2018, it was announced that the relevant ministries in North Rhine-Westphalia were discussing the possibility of partial access in the area of childcare. This would make it possible for Dutch childcare workers to work in that part of the Erzieherin profession in North Rhine-Westphalia that only covers childcare.

The latest information received in the case confirms that the possibility of partial access to the profession of Erzieherin in North Rhine-Westphalia was made available. In the present case, application of this principle means that persons who are fully qualified in the Netherlands to work in childcare are able to work as Erzieherin only in childcare in North Rhine-Westphalia. Nevertheless, before partial access can be granted professionals must provide proof of their language skills.