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Childcare in the Netherlands

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The Netherlands has no formal educational provision for children under the age of four, the age at which children can begin primary school. Outside the formal educational system there are, however, childcare facilities for younger children and after-school facilities for school-age children. The defining element of childcare policy in the Netherlands is that it is a matter of common interest and is the shared responsibility of of parents, the government and employers. Schools are now responsible for care during the lunch and pre- and after- school care if requested by parents. It is up to each school how they choose to organise this, e.g. cooperation with a day care centre, requesting parent participation to assist in playground oversight during lunch time etc. At international schools this arrangement may vary.

For further information about childcare regulations and allowances you may be entitled to, refer to this fact sheet on childcare and allowances, keep in mind, allowances will be dependent upon the collective income of both parents. Looking for possible childcare recommendations? Contact the ACCESS Helpdesk for suggestions near you, or consider one of our Partners.

What kinds of childcare are available in the Netherlands?

How much does day care cost and can I get help with its cost?

I am in need of a nanny/babysitter/childminder/au pair for my children. Can you suggest some options for me?

How much does baby-sitting cost in the Netherlands?