Preventative healthcare is the primary goal of the consultatiebureau (child health clinic). It provides vaccinations free of charge and checks the growth and development of babies and toddlers up to four years of age under the guidance of resident nurses and doctors. Once your child is going to primary school (usually at the age of 4 as kindergarten is part of primary school), the check-ups are continued by a schoolarts (school doctor). Going to a consultatiebureau or schoolarts is not compulsory, but it is strongly advised. You are not required to follow the advice of the consultatiebureau or schoolarts should you feel that it is not good for your child.
As soon as you register your child’s birth, the child is automatically registered with your nearest child health clinic. This is done at the stadhuis (town hall) in the town where the baby was born, within the department of municipal population affairs. If your baby is not born in the town where you live, the procedure is different. When your baby is two weeks old, a child health clinic nurse (wijkverpleegster ) will pay an initial visit to your home. During this visit, the nurse will gather your child’s medical history, explain how the child health clinic system works, give you a copy of the ‘Groeiboek’ book (an English version called ‘growth guide’ is available on request). The growth guide outlines a baby’s first years of development, supplies important phone numbers, lists appointments you have attended at the clinic, records vaccinations, and charts your baby’s height and weight. It will also provide you with the name and address of your nearest child health clinic. If you do not have this book, your family doctor or midwife can direct you to your nearest child health clinic.
Please note that any vaccinations for your child will be given at the child health clinic. Click here for more information.