Ages 0- 4

Daycare & Preschool

Many children start daycare in the Netherlands as early as at 10-12 weeks old and there are various childcare options available in Amsterdam. From larger chains to smaller daycare facilities and a unique option of privately run in-home daycare called a 'Gastouder' - you will find many options to choose from in Amsterdam. If you are looking for in-home Nanny or Babysitting services make sure to check our guide here. Keep in mind that many facilities have waiting lists and it is best to register your child/ children as soon as possible - yes even before they are born! 


Daycare is available for children ages 0-4. Some facilities have 'vertical groups' meaning that all ages are in one group together, while others have 'horizontal groups' meaning that children are divided into groups by age.  


Most daycares are open from 7:30 am or 8:00 until 18:00 or 18:30. Some allow half days or mid-afternoon pick up and others even offer weekend care options. 

The Dutch government provides a subsidy towards daycare costs based on the income level of the family - both parents need to be working to take advantage of this subsidy.

Gastouder/ Child-Minder

An alternative to a daycare facility is a childminder (gastouder) who looks after up to 4 children in their home. These childminders are officially registered caretakers.

The Dutch government provides a subsidy towards childminder (gastouder) costs based on the income level of the family - both parents need to be working to take advantage of this subsidy.

(*Note that babysitters do not fall under the category of 'Gastouder' & are not included in the type of childcare which receives a government reimbursement)


Preschool (peuterspeelzaal) is available to children aged 2.5 - 4 years old and is meant to help them prepare for primary school (basisschool). Preschool is available five days per week (Monday-Friday). You can choose to send your child for three hours or five hours (excluding/including lunch) and from between one – five days per week (some centres will require a minimum of two days per week). Most preschools open at 8:30 with the day running through to 15:00.

Note: depending on which primary school you would like your child to attend, you may prefer to register your child for the preschool at that specific school if possible, however, it is also an option to have your child attend a preschool which is not affiliated with the primary school they will attend.

Kinderopvang Toeslag / Childcare Reimbursement

If your child is attending a daycare, registered child-minder (not babysitter but gastouder), or preschool, you may be eligible to receive childcare benefit which is a contribution from the Dutch government To be eligible for childcare benefit, you must meet certain conditions, e.g. you must be working or studying.


Note: You can calculate your exact reimbursement based on your family situation & income on the official goverment site:

How to find the right daycare, child-minder or preschool






Annebet van Mammeren is a local Dutch Education Expert who supports international families with all education related questions & finding the right school(s) for their children.​



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