Choosing a childcare provider in The Hague region

Diverse group of children playing with Lego

Choosing a childcare provider in The Hague region

This article is provided by our partner, Zein International Childcare

As the third-largest city in the Netherlands, and host to 480 international organisations, The Hague is an attractive region for Dutch as well as international families to settle. Reflective of the city’s international character, families have a range of childcare services to choose from – including fully Dutch-speaking, bilingual and/or fully English-speaking options. In the Netherlands, childcare providers usually offer three types of services as highlighted below:

Day care (generally 3 months to 4 years old)

A full or half-day of nurturing care and activities within an environment where even the very youngest children feel safe and happy. Groups are structured vertically (combining all day care ages within one group) or horizontally (usually separate baby groups for children aged 3 months to 2 years, and toddler groups for children aged 2-4).

Pre-school (2.5 to 4 years old)

Morning or afternoon sessions where children “learn to learn” in preparation for “big school”. With a programme that builds social-emotional as well as cognitive skills, such as sharing, problem-solving, numbers, and letters. Pre-school allows children to socialise with peers; as well as develop and learn the skills needed to ensure a smooth and happy transition to primary school when the time comes

After school and holiday Care (4 to 12 years old)

A fun extension of your child’s day. At the end of the school day, children are picked up by the staff of the childcare provider and accompanied to the childcare facility – usually on or near the campus – where they can refresh, relax, engage in activities, sports and games, and/or do homework. During the school holidays, children can join holiday camps, which operates from 08:00 – 18:30 hrs.


Selecting a childcare provider

The childcare sector is regulated in the Netherlands; providers must adhere to a general quality standard and the care is provided by qualified childcare practitioners. Alongside these standards, there is flexibility for each provider to offer a tailored approach according to their own unique pedagogic vision – reflected in what can be considerable differences in programmes, daily structure, language(s) spoken, nutrition, quality of facilities, and parent-teacher communication.

When exploring options, families will quickly find that internationally-oriented childcare is so much more than the language(s) spoken. The approach to bilingual childcare and language development support differs per provider. And staff is trained in supporting children and their parents in navigating an international lifestyle, and the daily, weekly and monthly programmes aim to equip children to navigate a life of change in a world with fading borders.


Childcare allowance – tax rebate

In Holland, there are government rebates available for working families to assist with the costs of childcare. Through the Dutch Childcare Allowance ‘Kinderopvangtoeslag’ Dutch tax authorities reimburse a substantial portion of childcare costs, for children aged 0-12 years, where both parents (or a single parent) are working or studying. The amount you will get back is dependent on your combined gross income and the number of hours you and your partner spend on working/studying.


Contact Zein International Childcare for more information about their internationally-oriented childcare programmes.

For more information about education and childcare in The Hague region, please join our CONNECT Webinar on 23 March 2021. Registration is free.