Allowance of childcare
Dutch parents receive an income-related extra allowance for childcare of young children (until the age of 12). Although it depends on one’s income with this allowance, the cost of childcare can be brought down. But also families with a residence permit are eligible to receive this bonus. To receive childcare allowance, you must apply for it with the Dutch Tax Office (Belastingdienst). You can do this online, via www.toeslagen.nl
(in Dutch only).
Childcare centre or crèche
As a parent you can go to any childcare centre, often called a crèche, when your child is between 0 and 4 years old. Babies can be looked after from the age of four months. Every childcare centre has qualified caretakers who will give your child individual attention and good care. Some day-care centres have extended possibilities when it comes down to flexible hours and sometimes even around the clock. Daycare rates, although they can vary greatly, start around EUR 6.50 per child per hour.
Another form of childcare is the toddlers’ playgroups (Peuterspeelzaal), which are subsidised by the government. Children from the age of two until four can go there for certain daily periods to get used to a school situation and to learn how to play with other children in a group situation. The parental contribution is low and income-related.
Out of school care
When your child goes to primary school, the school often organises out of school care (before and after school/ BSO/ Buitenschoolse Opvang), just like providing the possibility to stay at school during lunchtime. The parents have to pay for it themselves. The subsidy for childcare is also for the outside school care.
Instead of a crèche or out of school care, you can choose for a host parent. In this case your child will be staying at the host family or the host parent will come to your house. This is a more personal form of childcare and mostly it will stretch over a longer period of time. Parents with irregular work hours often choose for this kind of childcare, which is for babies of a few weeks old to children of 12 years.