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Child care

Parents' information on Child Care


Many parents combine work or study with the care for their children. That makes affordable child care important. This leaflet tells you more about the different child care possibilities and who is paying for the costs.


New Dutch Act on Child Care

As from 1 January 2005 a new act on child care will come into effect. This act provides for the quality and financing of child care and applies to:

- Day nurseries (crèches)
- Host parent care (gastouderopvang)
- Out-of-school care (bso).


According to this act parents, employers and the government must jointly bear the costs of formal child care. The level of the contribution depends on the level of your income and will be paid through the tax authorities. You can apply for a contribution as from 15 September 2004.

The contribution will make child care affordable for parents with low incomes as well.


The employers of both parents are expected to contribute to child care. Ask your employer for information on the child care scheme or check the collective bargaining agreement (CAO). If the employer does not contribute to the costs, the government will do so.


If you do not have an employer, you may still receive a contribution, for example if you are participating in a reintegration programme, if you are a student or follow a compulsory integration course. Self-employed persons may also receive a contribution.


Would you like to know more about the new Dutch Act on Child Care?


Go to: or call the information line of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment on 0800-9051. You can also ask for information at the day nursery. You can find the association for parents and child care on:


Child care in the Netherlands

The crèche

In a crèche children between the ages of 0 and 4 can be taken care of for full and half days. Often several times a week. Crèches are also referred to as day nurseries.


Host parent care (gastouderopvang)

This is care provided by an adult who is registered at a host parent agency. The children are between the ages of 0 and approx. 12. They are taken care of in the host parent's home, or in your own home. A host parent is allowed to care for maximally four children for a few hours or full days.


Out-of-school care (bso)

This is care for children from the age of 4 until they reach secondary school age. This includes pre-school care, post-school care and care during the holidays. If only post-school care is available, it is called after-school care (nso).


Playgroup and informal child care are very common. They are not covered by the new act.



Playgroups take care of children between the ages of 2 and 4. Care can be given several times a week, but only for half days.


Informal child care

Many people make their own child care arrangements through family or friends. This is called informal or unofficial child care. No regulations apply and payment is arranged in consultation between both parties. It is sometimes cheaper to arrange for official child care. When the host parent registers at an official host parent agency, he or she will receive formal payment. As a parent you are then entitled to a contribution in the costs from the government and often also from your employer.


Calculation example 1

Julia is a single mother with a daughter who goes to the crèche for three days a week. Julia's employer contributes to the costs of child care.
Julia's taxable income amounts to € 16,400, her child care costs amount to € 303 a year.


Calculation on an annual basis:

Total costs of child care: € 7,875
Contribution government: € 4,946
Contribution employer: € 1,313
Additional contribution government for single parents: € 1,313
Costs for Julia per year € 303 (per month: € 25).

If Julia's employer does not share in the costs, the government will make an additional contribution. Julia would then have to pay € 29 a month.


Calculation example 2

Hassan and Samira have two children. One child goes to the crèche for two days a week, the other enjoys out-of-school care. Hassan works and Samira participates in a reintegration programme of the UWV. Their family income amounts to € 23,500, their child care costs amount to € 496 a year.


Calculation on an annual basis:

Total costs of child care: € 7,252
Contribution government: € 4,338
Contribution employer: € 1,209
Contribution of the municipal authorities: € 1,209
Costs for Hassan and Samira per year € 496 (per month € 41).


If Hassan's employer does not share in the costs, the government will make an additional contribution. Hassan and Samira would then have to pay € 49 a month.


Would you like to know more about child care?


If you would like to know more about child care facilities in your own city, you can ask the municipal authorities for more information. Or you can go to a day nursery in your district. You can also find information on the internet on



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