Dutch health and safety practices are very different than those of many countries with more severe COVID-19 outbreaks since the country is not experiencing anywhere near the transmission and mortality rates that other countries, such as the U.S., are.

On July 1st, based on information, advice and recommendations from the country’s National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) which is closely tracking the situation, the Dutch government lifted its ‘intelligent lockdown’ and eased social distancing restrictions for children aged 12 and under which is NewTechKids’ demographic. Government rules state that “Children aged 12 and under do not have to stay 1.5 metres away from other children or adults. This also applies in childcare and primary school settings.”

The Amsterdam Public Library, where our summer camps take place, has adopted government rules and has developed an extensive summer program for children whose families have decided not to travel this summer holiday.

NewTechKids has adopted extra measures which include:

  • teaching in a large, well-ventilated room
  • using AI-based floor plan layout to guarantee space between tables and chairs
  • a ‘no adults in the classroom except teachers’ rule (parents watch demos behind a glass wall)
  • mandatory temperature-taking when kids enter the classroom every day
  • mandatory hand washing when kids enter the classroom and every hour
  • kids work in pairs and take turns as builders or coders (although this is challenging to enforce)
  • frequent wiping down of tables, chairs, door handles, tap handles, garbage bins, etc.

We also try to pair kids with other kids who are already in their bubble such as siblings and close friends.

It’s super hard to keep kids distanced but we’ve tried to minimize the risks and offset contact as much as possible.