Relocation issues become more serious when it involves your family. You will need to consider several additional factors if you have kids and you get the IT job abroad. All your mind will be brainstormed by one question – ‘What is the best for my kid at living and learning arrangements?’. This article is devoted to another hot issue when moving abroad – helping hand for parents in the form of day-care centers and schools.
I’d like you to know that the Netherlands is one of the best places to raise children. First of all, if you work/live legally in the Netherlands – you can claim Dutch Child Benefit. For this, you need to request the ‘Sociale Verzekeringsbank’ (SVB) for a claim form. Then the SVB will decide whether you are entitled to child benefit. Now to the main question. We recommend you to start searches before you will need it, as there are long waiting lists.
Kinderopvang – is a general title for all forms of childcare in the Netherlands. You have the ability to choose exactly what you need, as most centers schedule from 08:00 to 18:00 and they offer all-day care. Some have longer opening hours and a half-day or even 24-hour care. Let’s take a deeper look into this issue.
- You may find a childminder, registered with an agency, to care your children at your or their home. At the Netherlands they are called gastouders. They can watch for up to 6 children of any age to 13 years. The agency (Gastouderbureau) selects personnel and inspects places of care for child’s safety and hygiene. Childminders not only babysit your children, they also give them an early years education. You should pay attention that childminders work at the parents’ home no longer than 3 days per week. The childminder’s minimum wage of EUR 10 per hour and 8 percent holiday pay. Also, you will pay the agency a monthly charge for their ongoing support, input and administration time. Generally, it’s EUR 56 for one child, EUR 93 for two children and EUR 123 for three children. Some agencies have a fixed fee around EUR 25–30 per family. Plus, registration fees, by the way, it is a long-term procedure. It was decreased from EUR 759 to EUR 464. Registration fees do not apply in Aalten, Alkmaar, Apeldoorn, Soest and Uithoorn. So, if you’re looking for care on a brief period – it won’t fit you, because of protracted registration.
- If you need full-time care at your home you might call on Nannies, babysitters, and other private caregivers. They can be hired to work during the day, evenings, weekdays or weekends. An average hourly rate is EUR 8 to EUR 10. Also, there are young internationals who come to the Netherlands for a year for studying – an au pair. In that time they live with the family and take care of the children. Au pairs receive between EUR 300 and 340 euros pocket money per month. You provide he/she with the own room, bathroom, Dutch classes and some other stuff. They become a member of your family.
- Daycare and childcare centers (Kinderdagverblijf) take children aged 0 to 3. Mostly it is an all-day care, 5 days per week. They are accredited and experienced in early childhood education.
- For children aged 2 to 4, there are preschool play groups (Peuterspeelzaal). Generally, they give a half-day care for few hours, with a min of 2 days per week. There is no education, children spend their time playing.
- Until the school starts, children from 2,5 to 6 years are able to visit so-called Voorschool, literally ‘Before school’. Usually, those centers attached to a school. That give kids a possibility to stay in the same environment after finishing the Voorschool.
- Other organizations for children from 4 to 12 years old. They take care of kids after school and during the holidays. Your school may offer you some.
Some links you may be interested about:
Humanitas Childcare Foundation – child care centers, centers for after-school care and kindergartens throughout the Netherlands
Kind4kids – an agency for families and babysitters
The Netherlands Childcare Foundation – group of daycare centers .
Schools and education
Atthe Netherlands educational system is strong and well-balanced. Children go to the primary school from age three or four. First 2 years it’s like kindergarten classes. From the 3-rd year, they start to learn reading, writing and arithmetic. After 8 years of primary school, children transfer to secondary school.
If your child between 6 and 12 years old and doesn’t speak Dutch, there are Newcomer’s classes which cost nothing. It will take your kid on a voyage of discovery a Dutch culture and language. You can use the School Finder in Dutch school searches.
Besides, in the Netherlands, a number of International schools which includes Dutch language lessons and activities to promote integration are in demand.
Most of the international schools that focus on education in English follow the standardized International Baccalaureate programs. It means students receive an internationally recognized education and can easily transfer to other international schools around the world.
There are two types of international school:
Independent international schools (private schools),
Community schools (public/private schools).
International schools in and around Amsterdam:
- Amsterdam International Community School (public/private)
- The British School of Amsterdam (private)
- The Japanese School of Amsterdam (private)
- Annexe du Lycée Français Vincent van Gogh (private)
- The Berlage Lyceum offers bilingual education. Half of the classes are taught in English, the other half in Dutch.
International schools outside Amsterdam:
- Amstelveen: The International School of Amsterdam
- Almere: International Primary School Letterland
- Utrecht: International School Utrecht
If you have any questions or for a complete listing of all international departments in Dutch schools. As well as all independent international schools in the Netherlands, please visit the website of the Foundation for International Education in the Netherlands.