The Netherlands has no formal educational provision for children under the age of four, the age at which they can begin primary school. Outside the formal education system there are, however, childcare facilities for younger children (pre-school) and for after-school for school aged children The government’s position is that childcare is a matter of common interest and a shared responsibility of three parties – parents, government and employers – and this has a defining element in childcare policy. Schools are now responsible for care during lunch, and for pre- and after-school care if asked for by parents. It is up to the schools how they organise this, e.g. cooperation with a day care centre.
Childcare Services & Professionals
2547 VR Den Haag
2552 RA Den Haag
2672 HC Naaldwijk
C.A. van Beverenstraat 40
2552 HW Den Haag
Tesselsestraat 61 b
2583 JH Den Haag
2681 LD Monster
Gedempte Sloot 7
2513 TC Den Haag
2545 VC Den Haag
Paulus Buijsstraat 51
2582 CH Den Haag Statenkwartier
Preventative care is the consultatiebureau’s (Child Health Clinic) main goal. It provides free-of-charge vaccinations and checks the growth and development of babies and toddlers up to four years of age under the guidance of resident nurses and doctors.
Within two weeks of your child’s registration with the municipality (regardless of where your child is born) a consultatiebureau nurse will pay an initial visit with you in your home. During this visit, the nurse will gather your child’s medical history, introduce you to the consultatiebureau system and provide you with a copy of the “Groei Op” (Grow Up) book and the name and location of your nearest consultatiebureau. Contact details of your local consultatiebureau will also be indicated in the “Groei Op” book. If you do not have this book, your family doctor or midwife can direct you to your nearest consultatiebureau.
- Family, child and informal care: is at-home-care with members of the family or with a child minder or other caregiver.
- Playgroups: are informal groups that usually meet weekly and provide parents of children aged zero to three years with the opportunity to meet other parents and chat over a cup of coffee, while their children play together in the same room.
- Baby-sitters (Oppas): may be useful for evenings and shorter periods of time. Most neighbourhood magazines and local expatriate websites post small ads with names offering babysitting services. Check with schools or neighbours for recommendations. You can also use the services of a Oppascentrale (Babysitting agency): some ask for a membership fee for 6-12 months. The advantages are that you can nearly always get a sitter and the costs are reasonable. The disadvantages are that it may be a different person every time and their experience may vary.
- Child-minding (Gastouderopvang): available for children of all ages. The care will be provided by a child-minder who is connected to a host parent agency. The child-minder can care for the children in their own home or in the homes of a care centre and can simultaneously accommodate up to six children.
- Au Pairs: a person aged from 18 to 26 years (usually female) placed with a family to provide childcare and some light housework in exchange for room, board and pocket money. An au pair usually works on a one-year contract. Most families find their au pair through an agency, which normally takes responsibility for checking references and language proficiency
- Nannies: is an in-home childcare provider who has either extensive experience caring for children or has graduated from a nanny school. Most nanny training programmes include first aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certification, as well as instruction in health, nutrition and recreation. Note that the employing family is liable to pay social security for them, which may be expensive.
- Nurseries (Kinderdagverblijf): children between zero and four years old can go to nurseries which are usually open between 08:00-18:00.
- The 24-hour reception (De 24-uurs opvang): primarily for children of parents who work irregular shifts which can provide day, evening, night and weekend care.
- Flexible day care (Flexibele dagopvang): care for children aged between zero and four years old in which a fixed number of sessions per week can be completed flexibly.
- Preschools (Peuterspeelzaal/Peutergroep): for children between two and four years old. A few times a week, the toddlers spend a few hours playing and doing activities with other children.
- After School Care Centres (Naschoolse Opvang or Buitenschoolse Opvang): following the school hours for children aged four to 12 years old. The children get something to eat and drink, participate in various activities and get guidance on homework.
Self-employed child minders working out of their home normally charge around €5 per child per hour. If they work at the parents’ home the fee usually varies between €8 and €12 per hour, irrespective of the number of children cared for. Fees are also dependent on age, experience and geographic region. You may find some students from Senior Schools offering babysitting and offering lower fees. Other rates apply should you decide to employ a baby sitter on a permanent basis in your home. If housekeeping duties are also required, you may also pay extra.
The amount that parents or the company pay depends on a number of factors including the form of day care, the number of days, the type of financing (whether this is done privately, through a company or if it is a subsidised place), the amount of the parental contribution (if it is a company or a subsidised place) and income tax- deductible expenses.
Childcare centres typically charge an hourly rate of between €6 and €8 per hour. A full day of 10 hours would then cost between €60 and €80.
The Dutch government reimburses a substantial portion of the cost of childcare if both partners are employed and if the child goes to a day care or after school care (Buitenschoolse Opvang) which is registered on the National Register for Childcare (Nationaal Register Kinderopvang). The reimbursement is provided by the Dutch Tax Office in the form of a childcare allowance (kinderopvangtoeslag) of which the amount depends on number of children, income and working hours of parents.
Should you need more information about this Dutch government subsidy please visit: http://www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/wcm/connect/bldcontentnl/belastingdienst/prive/toeslagen/informatie_over_toeslagen/kinderopvangtoeslag