Support for Parents

Support for parents

Parents and their children are very well supported in the Netherlands. The Dutch government provides both financial help and other schemes. Full information on all the support and leave schemes available for parents is available on the Dutch government’s website.

Maternity and Paternity leave

All new mothers in the Netherlands have a right to 16 weeks of paid maternity leave. This can be taken in various ways (for example 6 weeks before the birth and 10 weeks after). Once someone is on maternity leave, their employer can also apply for maternity pay via the UWV (in-work benefits agency).

Paid partner or paternity leave is capped at one week at full salary: unpaid paternity leave can be up to 5 weeks taken during the first 6 months of the child’s life. During unpaid paternity leave, a new parent can claim 70% of their salary through the UWV.

Parental leave

Parents with children aged up to 8 may take (unpaid leave unless specified) up to 26 times the number of hours they work in a week in parental leave. Lots of Dutch parents will take a day or two a week as a ‘Mamadag’ or ‘Papadag’.

Welfare Institutions

In each region of the Netherlands, you will find a series of local institutions that aim to support parents and children’s welfare. This is known as a CJG (Centrum Jeugd en Gezin). Most regions also have an office for youth and adolescent care (Bureau Jeugdzorg), which can also provide help and support to parents.

Financial support for taking care of a child

The Dutch government has two financial aid programmes for parents, to help with the costs of raising children. The first is called the Kinderbijslag, and is a general child benefit.

There is also a scheme called the Kinderopvangtoeslag/childcare allowance, which is intended to help pay for childcare services and pre-school if both parents work or study. More information about both programmes is available via the SVB (Sociale Verzekeringsbank) website, in several languages.

The municipality of The Hague also has a scheme called ‘Ooievaars Measures’, which are locally targeted support schemes to help everyone with low incomes can participate in society. For people with children this includes various vouchers and gift cards to help with school supplies, travel, a bike; and more! For more information, see the website of the municipality of The Hague.

After school care

Whilst most senior schools will offer their own after school clubs, children at Primary School age may attend naschoolse opvang. This is a special programme that is provided by Primary Schools, often in collaboration with local after school centres.


You may also be interested in the Dutch school system, more information about healthcare, or more information about the various benefits available for people in the Netherlands.