All childcare centres must comply with a strict standard of quality according to Dutch law. Here the main types of organised childcare possibilities in the Netherlands:
- Kinderdagverblijf or Kinderopvang ‚kdv‘ (Day care)
Children from the age of 3 month to 4 years can stay here up to 10 hours a day.
- Gastouder (Host parents or child minders)
Child minders in the Netherlands look after babies, toddlers and primary school children for fixed hours per week. They are also sometimes available on the weekend and in the evenings. It is common for host parents to look after children at their own homes. There can be up to 5 children aged 0-4 years at any time per one child minder. This includes the child minders own children aged up to 10. From these 5, there is a maximum of 4 children between the ages of 0-1, with a maximum of 2 children under the age of 1. The law is clear about this, to ensure children are all well looked after.
- Peuterspeelzaal or psz (pre-school/nursery)
For children between 2 and 4 years you can book a few days per week for around 3 hours a day the peuterspeelzaal – either mornings or afternoons. Peuterspeelzaal prepares children for primary school and they get in contact with other chidlren to play with. A short report is passed on to the basischool (primary school) when the child turns 4 and leaves the peuterspeelzaal.
- Buitenschoolse/naschoolse opvang – BSO (After and pre-school care)
BSO cares for children between 4 and 12 years in primary school. Mostly it is in the morning from 7.30 until 18.30 in the evening, but this depends on your school; Not all have the morning option. You can collect your children at any time. Sometimes this is available throughout the holidays, but it could also be that schools link up and share BSO opening times if there are too few children per school. This may mean, for example, that Mon-Wed BSO is at one place and Thur-Fri. Either way, there are child care options available.
- Oppas (Babysitters)
Oppas are the eqivilant of babysitters, but can also be very similar to gastouders. You can find some options in your area via websites such as https://www.oppassen.nl/ where you can read profiles of people and invite them to come and meet you first. Take care to note what transport they have available to them if they live further away from you. For example, will they be happy babysitting to late and getting a night bus home in the rain or do they have a car/bike?
Detailed information about the structure of the Dutch school system you can find here: https://www.iamexpat.nl/education/primary-secondary-education/dutch-school-system
More detailed information about the types of childcare in the Netherlands right here: https://www.iamexpat.nl/expat-info/family-kids/types-of-childcare-netherlands
And finally to compare schools and find schools in your neighbourhood: